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Successful Budget Consolidation

An International Comparison

By Uwe Wagschal

Blame it on the baby boomers. Unless Germany starts making a consistent effort to consolidate its public budgets, the country’s already tight financial situation is going to get much worse. As with many Western countries, Germany’s upcoming fiscal problems are rooted in demographic trends. Its baby boomer generation is preparing to move from active employment into retirement. Governmental budget planners will soon find themselves confronted with rising payment obligations, just as revenues are declining. Recognizing the urgent need to consolidate Germany’s public budgets, Uwe Wagschal examines the factors that have helped determine the effects of budget consolidation in 23 selected OECD countries. His international comparison demonstrates how a combination of budget cuts and increased revenues can lead to successful consolidation.

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