Sociology Index


Fiscal crisis refers to a long-term situation where government expenditures exceed government revenues. The fiscal crisis of the state is thought to drive much contemporary government policy on social programs. Within modern Marxist theory (neo-Marxism), the term fiscal crisis has been used more specifically to refer to a situation where governments have increased their role in society in serving the needs of private capital, but have not been able to adequately tax private capital to support the expenditures.

For example, technical employment training has now largely become a preserve of the state (rather than the private employer), leaving the state with additional expenditures, but without corresponding revenues. According to neo-Marxism, this tendency is linked to the development of economic concentration and monopoly and inbuilt in the capitalist economic system.

Fiscal crisis and fiscal reform in developing countries - In recent years, policy-makers in developing countries have responded to crisis of macroeconomic instability with two sets of measures: conventional stabilisation policies and policies of economic liberalisation. The fiscal implications of this double agenda are set out, following three lines of enquiry. First, how can policies be kept consistent, when some liberalisation measures have large adverse fiscal consequences? Second, can a fiscal deficit be reduced without damaging the provision of public services vital for growth and poverty alleviation? Finally, since lack of tax revenue is usually the binding constraint on government intervention, how can this most easily be relaxed? - J Toye -  Abstract.

The Fiscal Crisis of the State Reconsidered: Two Views of the State and the Accumulation of Capital in the Postwar Economy - John A. Miller, Department of Economics, Wheaton College, Norton.
This paper argues that the theoretical categories in The Fiscal Crisis of the State (1973) by James O'Connor produce empirical results that fail to explain the financial crisis of the state in the 1960s and 1970s. The argument has three steps: (1) a theoretical examination of the connection between O'Connor's analysis of state expenditures and revenues and the accumulation of capital; (2) an empirical estimation of O'Connor's expenditure and revenue categories for the United States from 1952 to 1980; and, (3) the presentation of an alternative theoretical understanding of the relationship between the state and the accumulation process that produces more plausible empirical results than O'Connor's.

Globalization, Tax Competition and the Fiscal Crisis of the Welfare State 
REUVEN S. AVI-YONAH, University of Michigan Law School 
A revised version of this working paper is in 113 Harvard Law Review, May, 2000. 
Abstract: The current age of globalization can be distinguished from the previous one (from 1870 to 1914) by the much higher mobility of capital than labor (in the previous age, before immigration restrictions, labor was at least as mobile as capital). This increased mobility is the result of technological changes and the relaxation of exchange controls.

Fiscal Crisis Resolution: Taxation Versus Inflation - Michael Kumhof 
Abstract: The paper presents a model of fiscal and monetary policy that evaluates the tradeoff between higher distortionary labor taxation and higher inflation in the resolution of fiscal crisis. In the model government debt is domestically held and nominal. Data are presented to show that such debt is now at least as important as external government debt in many key emerging markets, and that it is a very important item on the balance sheets of domestic financial intermediaries, despite the disappearance of financial repression.