Tag Archives: Government Spending

Fiscal Risk and the Portfolio of Government Programs

From Sam Hanson, David Scharfstein, and Adi Sunderam: This paper proposes a new approach to social cost-benefit analysis using a model in which a benevolent government chooses risky projects in the presence of market failures and tax distortions. The government internalizes … Continue reading

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Use-it-or-Lose-it Budget Rules

From Jeff Liebman and Neale Mahoney, summarized by NBER’s Laurent Belsie: IT projects that were procured in the last week of the fiscal year were between two and six times more likely to have a lower quality rating. Federal agencies spend an … Continue reading

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Public R&D Investments and Private Sector Patenting: Evidence from NIH Funding Rules

From Pierre Azoulay, Joshua Graff-Zivin, Danielle Li, and Bhaven Sampat: This paper measures the impact of public R&D investments on innovation by private sector firms. We quantify the returns to grant spending at the National Institutes of Health (NIH) in … Continue reading

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Public Insurance and Mortality: Evidence from Medicaid Implementation

From Andrew Goodman-Bacon: This paper provides new evidence that Medicaid’s introduction reduced mortality rates among nonwhite infants and children in the 1960s and 1970s. Medicaid required states to cover all cash welfare recipients, which induced substantial cross-state variation in the share … Continue reading

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Who Pays for Public Employee Health Costs?

From Jeff Clemens and David Cutler: We analyze the incidence of public-employee health benefits. Because these benefits are negotiated through the political process, relevant labor market institutions deviate significantly from the competitive, private-sector benchmark. Empirically, we find that roughly 15 percent … Continue reading

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How Changing Government Spending Affects Inequality

Juan Carlos Suárez Serrato, a friend and co-author of mine, has an interesting brief on government spending, inequality, and policy design. He analyzes “how differential valuations for government services between rich and poor lead to important implications for the link between … Continue reading

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The Time for Austerity: Estimating the Average Treatment Effect of Fiscal Policy

From Oscar Jorda and Alan Taylor: Elevated government debt levels in advanced economies have risen rapidly as sovereigns absorbed private-sector losses and cyclical deficits blew up in the Global Financial Crisis and subsequent slump. A rush to fiscal austerity followed but its justifications and impacts … Continue reading

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