Policymakers are often hard-pressed to understand what economists have to say on policy issues, and scholars and students need to know what the latest research findings are and what questions remain unanswered. Fiscal Policy: Lessons from Economic Research presents the work of leading contributors to the public finance literature. The papers were originally presented at a 1996 conference sponsored by the Robert D. Burch Center for Tax Policy and Public Finance at the University of California, Berkeley.
Although the papers are broad in scope, they are not intended to be neutral, comprehensive surveys of the literature. Instead, authors were encouraged to focus on the issues they thought most important or interesting. The conference confirmed that on some questions there is a broad consensus, and on others there is strong disagreement. Because perspectives differ, after each paper two discussants offer their own views on the subject. More so than in many conference volumes, these comments are an integral part of each presentation.
The eight chapters fall into three subject areas: government budget management and control, federal entitlement programs, and attempts to influence private sector behavior through tax code management.
Henry J. Aaron, B. Douglas Bernheim, David M. Cutler, Nada Eissa, Jeffrey Frankel, William G. Gale, Roger H. Gordon, Edward M. Gramlich, Bronwyn H. Hall, Kevin A. Hassett, James R. Hines, Jr., Hilary Williamson Hoynes, R. Glenn Hubbard, Robert P. Inman, Laurence J. Kotlikoff, Robert A. Moffitt, Joseph P. Newhouse, James M. Poterba, John M. Quigley, Robert D. Reischauer, David Romer, Daniel L. Rubinfeld, John B. Shoven, Jonathan S. Skinner, Joel Slemrod, John B. Taylor.