Reactions to the economic crisis

New paper by Jonas Pontusson and Damian Raess: “How (and Why) Is This Time Different? The Politics of Economic Crisis in Western Europe and the United States


This article compares government responses to the Great Recession of 2008–2009 with government responses to recessions and other economic challenges in the period 1974–1982. We focus on five countries: France, Germany, Sweden, the United Kingdom, and the United States. Across these countries, we observe two broad shifts in crisis responses. First, governments have in the recent period eschewed heterodox crisis policies and relied more exclusively on fiscal stimulus. Second, tax cuts have become a more important component of fiscal stimulus while spending cuts have featured more prominently in governments’ efforts to consolidate their fiscal position. We argue that crisis responses reflect the interests and power of domestic actors as well as external constraints and the nature of the economic problems at hand.