Budget Institutions and Fiscal Policy in the U.S. States
NBER Working Paper No. 5449
This paper summarizes state balanced budget requirements, and the available empirical evidence on the effect of these rules on state fiscal policies. Existing state rules differ from many current proposals at the federal level. They are typically restricted to part of the state budget, they frequently permit short term borrowing, and they lack formal enforcement mechanisms. The paper also surveys previous research on how anti-deficit provisions affect state fiscal policy. The available evidence indicates that stringent anti-deficit provisions lead to more rapid adjustment of state taxes and expenditures when fiscal deficits emerge. This suggests that changing the federal budget process has the potential to affect federal fiscal policy.
Published: American Economic Review, Vol. 86 (May 1996): 395-400.