Summary: The purpose of the conference is to take stock of the theoretical and empirical knowledge on public debt and budget deficits. Particular emphasis will be placed on comparing public debt and budget deficits in different countries by means of selected country studies. Based on the results of the conference, policy conclusions will be derived. Topics to be treated in presentations include (but are not restricted to): - The political economy of public debt and deficits: Survey of causes and consequences - Measurement of public debt and deficits - Implicit public debt, especially social security obligations - Public debt management - Public debt and deficits in the EMU: Alternatives to the SGP - Country studies: Developments in the recent past (from about 1960 to present), explanations, macroeconomic effects in the past, prospects for the near future and the medium run, current policy debates: USA, Japan, Germany, Netherlands, Italy, UK, Denmark, Switzerland, Austria, Eastern Europe

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