Public deficits: a comparative study of their economic and political consequences in Britain, Canada, Germany, and the United States

Front Cover
Public Deficits are one of the most pressing problems in all advanced industrialised countries. Public indebtedness has reached proportions which threaten selected government policies and even challenge the governability of democracies. This important new book focuses on four G-7 countries: Britain, Canada, Germany and the United States. These countries have different economic traditions, institutions and budgetary procedures and have developed different approaches to the problem of public deficits. Through a unique comparative approach the authors reach the core of the deficit problem and what it means for governments in democratic societies. Before providing a specific analysis they ask: * What is public debt, and what is the theoretical background for the analysis of the deficit problem? * What are the political and social consequences of budgetary deficits, and are there any restrictions for the management of budgets in this era of economic globalisation and regionalisation? A detailed study follows, of the experience of Britain, Canada, Germany and the United States. Consideration of the same issues in each help the comparison: the history of the deficit problem; the institutional framework for decisions on the deficit; the importance of the debt problem in the national political and economic discourse; and the effects of deficit control policies. The concluding chapter is an in-depth comparison of the four countries and puts the problem of public deficits into a political science perspective.

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Contents

The evolution of the deficit
8
Britain
24
Deficits the British experience
39
Copyright

5 other sections not shown

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About the author (1999)

Roland Sturm is an economist at RAND.

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