The political economy of budgetary deficit
Neither Keynesian nor Neoclassical theory managed to explain adequately the increasingly typical state of chronic budgetary deficit found in developed industrial countries since the 1970s. But the new political economy seems to have revealed the causes of the chronic deficit and mounting indebtedness and of the reasons for the marked differences in fiscal-policy performance between countries and periods. The success can be ascribed primarily to the fact that the new political economy turned to the political and institutional constraints on the formation of budgetary policy, with the unconcealed aim of broadening the bounds of mainstream economics and building the policy-making process into it. The study examines four comprehensive explanations: 1. strategic use of debt stock, 2. postponement of stabilization, 3. differences of political and electoral systems, and 4. weak or fragmented executive power, with the clear intention of complementing the customary positive analysis with a normative examination.
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