The Political Economy of Public Debt

Posted: 31 Aug 2011

See all articles by Marco Battaglini

Marco Battaglini

Princeton University - Department of Economics; Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR)

Date Written: September 2011


We survey recent theories of public debt that incorporate political decision making in rich dynamic environments. These theories provide a new framework with which to interpret empirical evidence and to assess institutional reforms that may help control political inefficiencies. We discuss the inefficiencies that lead to overaccumulation of debt and their implications for the long-run distribution of debt.

Suggested Citation

Battaglini, Marco, The Political Economy of Public Debt (September 2011). Annual Review of Economics, Vol. 3, pp. 161-189, 2011, Available at SSRN: or

Marco Battaglini (Contact Author)

Princeton University - Department of Economics ( email )

213 Fisher Hall
Princeton, NJ 08544
United States
609-258-4002 (Phone)
609-258-6419 (Fax)

Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR)

United Kingdom

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