U.S. Budget Deficits and the European Economies: Resolving the Political Economy Puzzle
NBER Working Paper No. 1790 (Also Reprint No. r0796)
This paper, prepared for the annual meetings of the American Economic Association, discusses how the increases in the U.S. budget deficits since 1980 have affected the economies of Western Europe. The analysis emphasizes that U.S. deficits have not only affected these economies directly but have also induced them to adopt more restrictive monetary and fiscal policies than they would otherwise have chosen. This induced shift in domestic policies is the primary reason why European governments have pressed for a reduction in the U.S. budget deficits despite the favorable impact of those deficits on European trade surpluses.