book, 254 pages, 6" x 9" (paper), 1999
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The recent and ongoing devolution to the states of responsibilities assumed heretofore by the federal government � a key goal of the deficit reduction, smaller government agenda of the late 1990s � has far-reaching implications for state budgets. At the moment, a strong economy has put most states into a stable enough fiscal position to shoulder such burdens as welfare reform and public investment. However, beneath the current surpluses are structural problems that are unlikely to withstand the next economic downturn. As a result, essential public needs will be unmet. This collection of essays by some of America�s leading economists, particularly in the area of state fiscal issues, deals with three major areas of concern: first, the effects of moving large numbers of welfare recipients into labor markets; second, the planned federal reforms in health care that will shift costs to the state and local sector; and, third, trends in federal aid. A basic finding of all these essays is that state economies can accommodate these challenges generally speaking, but the effect of recent welfare reform presents a problem too long range to be adequately assessed in the near future.
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