Expected completion: Spring 2014
Curriculum Vitae (PDF)
Essays in the Political and Macroeconomic Dynamics of Public Finance and Social Policy
This dissertation highlights the tensions between political interests, social policy and public finance and suggests how these tensions cut across institutional levels and play against the constraints given domestic and economic pressures. This document is divided in three sections. The first chapter reviews how political pressures around welfare states in advanced capitalism shaped their variety, with special attention to the reaction of two broad policy tools central to welfare policy: automatic social spending and discretionary policy and how these two types of policies reflect two interrelated yet distinct types of political engagement. The second section explores the interplay between debt and politically-driven expenditures over the short-run through a political business cycle formal model, which borrows heavily from Michal Kalecki's a seminal contribution on a politically-driven economic model which features a struggle between capitalist and worker interests. Finally, the third section presents econometric evidence of how financial debt pressures sways the direction of one type of social spending, public welfare expenditures through a series of panel models for seventeen states with the largest muni markets (that represent 71% of all state-level public welfare spending in the United States or 326 billion USD).
Fields of expertise
Political Economy, American and Latin American Economics, Macroeconomics, Applied Econometrics
Visit Fisher's personal website.