Year of Publication



Martin School of Public Policy and Administration

Executive Summary

Forty-five states have adopted some form of constitutional limitation on their own legislature’s ability to issue debt and raise capital. Eleven states have more than one such limitation. It seems intuitive to assume that constitutional strictures on a state’s ability to manage its fiscal policy would affect that state’s standing in the market, and it seems equally safe to assume that different combinations of the various forms of debt limitation would lead to varying effects in the market from state to state. However, the specific effects arising from the various constitutional provisions have proven to be difficult to measure. This research explores the substance of these constitutional debt limitations, the history of academic research attempting to measure the effects of these limitations, and the fruitfulness or futility of these academic attempts.