Since the global financial crisis, government debt has soared globally by 40 percent and now exceeds an astonishing $100 trillion. Not all countries, though, have fared the same. Indeed, even prior to the financial crisis, the fiscal fates of countries have been diverging, despite predictions that pressures from economic globalization push countries toward more convergent fiscally conservative policies. Featuring the work of an international interdisciplinary team of scholars, this volume explains patterns of fiscal performance (persistent patterns of budget deficits and government debt) from the 1970s to the present across seven countries - France, Italy, Germany, Japan, South Korea, Sweden, and the United States. Employing a comparative case study approach, seldom employed in studies of fiscal performance, contributions illuminate the complex causal factors often overlooked by quantitative studies and advances our theoretical understanding of fiscal performance. Among other things, the cases highlight the role of taxpayer consent, tax structure, the welfare state, organization of interests, and labor and financial markets in shaping fiscal outcomes. A necessary resource to understand a broader array of factors that shape fiscal outcomes in specific national contexts, this book will reinvigorate the study of fiscal performance.
ASJC Scopus subject areas