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Definition - Crowding Out

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Crowding out

When the state does something it may discourage, or crowd out, private-sector attempts to do the same thing. At times, excessive GOVERNMENT borrowing has been blamed for low private-sector borrowing and, consequently, low INVESTMENT and (because the economic returns on public borrowing are typically lower than those on private DEBT, especially corporate debt) slower economic GROWTH. This has become less of a concern in recent years as government indebtedness has declined and, because of GLOBALISATION, FIRMS have become more able to raise CAPITAL outside their home country. Crowding out may also come from state spending on things that might be provided more efficiently by the private sector, such as health care, or even through CHARITY, redistribution.