US growth and budget consolidation in the 1990s: was there a non-Keynesian effect?

Anton Burger, Martin Zagler

Publication: Scientific journalJournal articlepeer-review


The 1990s were an extraordinary period for the US economy, both because of declining budget deficits and emerging budget surpluses, as well as high rates of economic growth. This paper challenges the conventional wisdom that high growth rates caused budget improvements, and claims that budget consolidations also contributed to fostering economic growth. We propose the existence of a non-Keynesian effect, where fiscal policy runs counter to Keynesian theory and fiscal consolidation can foster economic growth. We present empirical evidence that an increase in tax revenues reduces the distortionary bias of future taxation and therefore leads to an increase in consumer confidence and consumption. Two supply side effects are proposed: a reduction in transfers reduced labour market pressures and government savings provided liquidity for financial markets, both of which increased incentives to invest.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)225 - 235
JournalInternational Economics and Economic Policy
Issue number1-2
Publication statusPublished - 1 Aug 2008

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