International Monetary Fund

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IMF Book Launch

Chipping Away at Public Debt: Sources of Failure and Keys to Success in Fiscal Adjustment

Thursday, September 8, 2011

A new book—Chipping Away at Public Debt: Sources of Failure and Keys to Success in Fiscal Adjustment—looks at past fiscal adjustment plans, through case studies for each of the G-7 countries and statistical analysis for the European Union member countries.

By analyzing past failures and successes, and by systematically comparing ex-ante plans with ex-post outcomes, it draws lessons for fiscal adjustment in the years ahead. In particular, it offers insights on live policy questions such as: How should plans be designed to be robust to surprises in economic growth and other economic and political shocks? What are the key institutional and political economy factors that make it possible for policy makers to meet their planned fiscal objectives? The book is a team effort by authors at the IMF and other institutions.

"Budget consolidation may well be the defining macroeconomic issue for the industrialized world over the next decade. The budget debate is as unbalanced as the budget. Ideology and rhetoric dominate in places where evidence and logic should dominate. This important book balances the debate by providing careful and analytic evidence on all the important tradeoffs. It is a must-read for everyone concerned about our fiscal future." Lawrence H. Summers.

Available in print and e-book formats from Wiley or most major retailers. Read more praise for the book by Carlo Azeglio Ciampi, Paul Martin, Alberto Alesina, Alan Auerbach, and Dani Rodrik on the Wiley website.


Event Details

This event is open to the public.

  • Date: Thursday, September 8, 2011
  • Time: 12:30 pm – 2:00 pm
  • Place: Events Hall, IMF, HQ1-01-704 | 700 19th Street, NW, Washington, DC

Opening Remarks

By John Lipsky, Special Advisor to the Managing Director, IMF

This event is sponsored by the IMF's Fiscal Affairs Department