IMF paper identifies trends in fiscal profligacy

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A working paper published by the International Monetary Fund (IMF) on January 9, assesses the factors behind periods of fiscal profligacy and prudence across a wide range of countries since 1800.

Authors Paolo Mauro, Rafael Romeu, Ariel Binder and Asad Zaman examine data from 55 countries, spanning the period from 1800–2011. They identify large disparities between periods of prudent and profligate fiscal management both within countries and across borders.

The researchers find that while

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