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date: 19 August 2019

Abstract and Keywords

This article addresses the impact on state and local budgets of the underlying trends and tensions facing state and local governments as the United States pulls out of the Great Recession. Noting that recessions are cyclical and there will be a recovery, it draws attention to the “more fundamental challenge for the US state and local fiscal system—indeed for the sustainability of our system of fiscal federalism.” The article focuses on the demographic, economic, and institutional trends that determine expenditure needs and shape revenue sources but that are largely beyond the control of state and local policymakers. Demographic characteristics include the changing rate of growth of the population and its age and ethnic composition as well as shifts in migration flows and household composition across regions.

Keywords: state governments, local budgets, Great Recession, fiscal system, institutional trends, demographics, ethnic composition

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