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Do Deficits Matter?


Daniel Shaviro (View Bio)
Hardcover: University of Chicago Press, 1997; Paperback: University of Chicago Press, 1999.

Robert Eisner, former President of the American Economics Association — whose work the book sharply criticizes — nonetheless calls it "a magnificent, judicious, and balanced treatment" that "should be read and studied…by all those in the economic and political community looking for light rather than heat on the very prominent issues it discusses." The Library Journal finds its analysis "right on the mark" and recommends it for all readers. Michael Livingston, in Tax Notes, calls it "strikingly original," "convincing," "surprisingly radical," and a "model" for practical-minded scholarship in the field.

"Federal budget deficits have long fueled public-policy debates. Law professor Shaviro traces these debates back several centuries, showing how they developed. Then, considering ways in which the deficit might matter, he presents the case both for and against its impact.... The author's background as a legislation attorney shows in his insightful analysis of political gamesmanship and the unintended consequences of legislation. Shaviro's history, economics, and political analysis are right on the mark." — Library Journal

"[An] excellent, comprehensive, and illuminating book. Its analysis, deftly integrating considerations of economics, law, politics, and philosophy, brings the issues of 'balanced budgets,' national saving, and intergenerational equity out of the area of religious crusades and into an arena of reason. . . . A magnificent, judicious, and balanced treatment. It should be read and studied not just by specialists in fiscal policy but by all those in the economic and political community." — Robert Eisner, Journal of Economic Literature

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