Iris J. Lav
This article tackles the issue of comprehensive state budget reform. With structural deficits rampant, reform is needed to maintain the current level of programs that states and localities now provide, but cannot support over time with current revenue policies. Recent “reforms” have mainly focused on cutting both spending and taxes. Nonetheless, it is believed that people want their services and will vote to pay for them, if given that option. The article notes that there have been very few successful state tax reforms in recent years. But modernization of tax systems is needed to alleviate structural deficits. Part of the problem is institutional myopia: improved multiyear budgeting can warn policymakers when proposed actions are likely to create budget problems over the long term.
Robert B. Ward
Over the last decade, observers of state and local finances have been alarmed over an emerging picture of long-term, structural imbalances. This article examines the concept of fiscal sustainability in several formulations and explains that it essentially means limiting expenditure commitments to those that can be met by available revenue streams. It investigates why fiscal sustainability in actual practice, however it might be measured in theory, has fallen into disrepair. The usual lineup of budget-busting culprits is next examined, with the proliferation of entitlement programs standing at the head of the line. Over the past four decades, state and local budget increases reflected the strength of the economy during an unprecedented run of prosperity. Meanwhile, the array of entitlement programs that drove spending was increasingly shaped by political, demographic, and institutional forces, each with its own clientele of beneficiaries. That has made adjustments more difficult when revenues do not keep pace with spending patterns.
Edwin Van De Haar
Alfred E. Eckes
This article deals with the administration of trade policy. It examines the individuals, ideas, and institutions that shape the trade regulation process. It focuses on the rules-based global trading system (World Trade Organization) and how the United States and other leading nations implement their obligations. It also provides readers with extensive bibliographical information, so that they can learn more about technical aspects of this broad subject.
Célestin Monga and Justin Yifu Lin
This introductory chapter of the second volume of the Handbook discusses Africa’s changing economic policy and institutional frameworks, and presents the ways forward. It starts with a chronicle of the rise and fall of the main economic strategies adopted by most African countries after independence, and highlights their rationale and shortcomings. It then draws some lessons to be learned from failures and successes, and stresses the inappropriate tendency of African policymakers to take as reference models the most advanced economies and try to replicate their strategies and policies mimetically. It argues that economic policy in developing countries be primarily conceived as an exercise of strategic selection, and concludes by insisting on the need for humility in the quest for relevant knowledge.
Roger Claassen, Joseph Cooper, Cristina Salvioni, and Marcella Veronesi
Although agri-environmental programs have a long history in the United States and the European Union, such programs began to play a larger role in federal farm policies in the 1980s, in part due to greater concern about environmental damage from agricultural production. Both regions rely primarily on a mixture of three types of policy mechanisms to address agri-environmental issues: voluntary incentive-based programs, regulatory programs, and cross-compliance programs. This chapter provides an overview and comparison of EU and US agri-environmental programs. It then reviews what is known about the environmental and land use impacts of these programs. The chapter also discusses US and EU data sources that are key to analysis of agri-environmental programs and their land use impacts.
This article attempts to provide in a succinct way a road map for those wandering into the territory of agricultural policy and trade. It begins with a brief discussion of the linkages between domestic farm policies and trade policies and the implications of those linkages for world markets. The second section deals explicitly with the treatment of agriculture within the GATT and later the WTO, and considers the significance of the current Doha Round for improving trade rules and lowering protection. A third section considers the situation with respect to regional and bilateral trade agreements, where agriculture has been a reluctant player but has over time been influenced significantly by this trend toward regional solutions to trade problems. A final section gives some indication of where the trade policies and trade rules in agriculture may be heading.
Hal Hill and Jayant Menon
This article aims to provide a stand-alone introduction to the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) economies, and traces ASEAN's evolution with a focus on its programs of economic integration. It also evaluates its past performance and, based on this, examines prospects for its future. The article is organized as follows. Section 2 provides an overview of the ten economies and the development of ASEAN as an institution. Section 3 examines ASEAN economic cooperation and integration with reference to merchandise trade, which was the principal focus of initiatives for the first quarter century. Section 4 then investigates a range of “trade plus” measures, including efforts to develop a broader range of closer economic relations both within and beyond the region, against the backdrop of expanded membership, the Asian financial crisis, the rise of China, and rapidly evolving regional commercial architecture. Concluding observations are presented in Section 5.
This article attempts to identify treatments of corruption that draw on characteristics of underdevelopment either as causes or as consequences. There is a very small amount of literature (both empirical and theoretical) on corruption in the Indian context. A primary reason for the lack of empirical work is the unavailability of data: Both parties typically benefit from corruption, and, therefore, neither has an incentive to report it. The article looks at three aspects of government corruption in developing countries, and in India in particular: red tape, rent-seeking, and the abundance of intermediaries (such as middlemen). The article argues that if wasteful red tape is specifically a characteristic of public provision (not private), then provision should be privatized, as suggested by the “efficient corruption” literature. The article emphasizes that there is very little work on intermediation (and the role of intermediaries) in corruption, an analysis of which is necessary to understand the structure of corruption markets, especially in the Indian context.