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 ecomic growth? This groundbreaking book looks at states within five industrialized federations-Canadian provinces, Swiss cantons, Belgian regions, German lander, 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.
Louis M. Imbeau is Professor of Political Science at Universite Laval in Quebec. Francois Petry, also, is Professor of Political Science at Universite Laval in Quebec.