Why, in the last decades of the twentieth century, did industralized nations witness recurring vast public deficits, even in times of peaceful international relations and economic growth? The essays in Politics, Institutions, and Fiscal Policy chart answers sought by economists, political scientists, and government officials. This groundbreaking book looks at states within five industrialized federations'¬ ;Canadian provinces, Swiss cantons, Belgian regions, German länder, and American states'¬ ;as case studies of variation in budget balances since 1980. The work'¬"s conclusion compares deficit levels between the federations studied. Politics, Institutions, and Fiscal Policy sheds new light on the role of such factors as spending and taxation levels and electoral and partisan cycles within the budget balancing process. Neatly written and theoretically grounded, this volume contributes greatly to our understanding of public finance and public administration.
Yielding great insight into the institutional and political context of intergovernmental fiscal policy-making in federations, this volume is compelling reading for anyone interested in the political economy of fiscal decision-making. -- Pierre Salmon, Universite de Bourgogne
This volume is a major scholarly contribution that will be of interest to all political economists and to anyone concerned with issues of budget policy and public deficits in a world looking for new forms of federalism. -- Gianluigi Galeotti, Universita di Roma, La Sapienza
The empirical studies of the major cases are models of rigour-thorough and careful. In political science, there is never `the final word' on any topic, but this is as close as it gets. -- Robert Young, University of Western Ontario
This is an illuminating and careful study which should appeal to all students of federalism-and indeed of democracy-at work. A must for courses in comparative federalism, comparative politics, political economy, and fiscal studies in general. -- Ian Budge, University of Essex