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A timely and incisive look at austerity measures that succeedand those that dontFiscal austerity is hugely controversial Opponents argue that it can trigger downward growth spirals and become self defeating Supporters argue that budget deficits have to be tackled aggressively at all times and at all costs In this masterful book, three of todays leading policy experts cut through the political noise to demonstrate that there is not one type of austerity but manyLooking at thousands of fiscal measures adopted by sixteen advanced economies since the late s, Austerity assesses the relative effectiveness of tax increases and spending cuts at reducing debt It shows that spending cuts have much smaller costs in terms of output losses than tax increases Spending cuts can sometimes be associated with output gains in the case of expansionary austerity and are muchsuccessful than tax increases at reducing the growth of debt The authors also show that austerity is not necessarily the kiss of death for political careers as is often believed, and provide new insights into the recent cases of European austerity after the financial crisisBringing needed clarity to one of todays most challenging subjects, Austerity charts a sensible approach based on data analysis rather than ideologyAlberto Alesina is the Nathaniel Ropes Professor of Political Economy at Harvard University He is the author, with Francesco Giavazzi, of The Future of Europe Reform or Decline Carlo Favero is the Deutsche Bank Chair in Quantitative Finance and Asset Pricing at Bocconi University in Italy He is the author of Applied Macroeconometrics Francesco Giavazzi is professor of economics at Bocconi University


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