The Political Economy of Government Debt

Source: Alberto F. Alesina, Andrea Passalacqua, National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER), NBER Working Paper No. w21821, December 2015
(subscription required)

From the abstract:
This paper critically reviews the literature which explains why and under which circumstances governments accumulate more debt than it would be consistent with optimal fiscal policy. We also discuss numerical rules or institutional designs which might lead to a moderation of these distortions.