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Is It Is Or Is It Ain'T My Obligation? Regional Debt In A Fiscal Federation

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  • Russell Cooper
  • Hubert Kempf
  • Dan Peled

Abstract

This article studies the repayment of regional debt in a multiregion economy with a central authority: Who pays the obligation issued by a region? With commitment, the central government will use its economy-wide taxation power in support of its objective to smooth distortionary taxes and consumption across regions. Absent commitment, this tool of the central government may be exploited to induce it to bail out regional government deficits. We characterize the conditions under which bailouts occur and their welfare implications. In particular, we show when the gains from a federation may outweigh the welfare costs of a bailout. We use these insights to comment on actual fiscal relations in three quite different federations: the United States, the European Union, and Argentina. Copyright � (2008) by the Economics Department of the University of Pennsylvania and the Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association.

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association in its journal International Economic Review.

Volume (Year): 49 (2008)
Issue (Month): 4 (November)
Pages: 1469-1504

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Handle: RePEc:ier:iecrev:v:49:y:2008:i:4:p:1469-1504

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References

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  1. James M. Poterba, 1996. "Budget Institutions and Fiscal Policy in the U.S. States," NBER Working Papers 5449, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. Mariano Tommasi & Pablo Sanguinetti, 2003. "Intergovernmental Transfers and Fiscal Behavior: Insurance versus Aggregate Discipline," Working Papers 60, Universidad de San Andres, Departamento de Economia, revised Aug 2003.
  3. Russell Cooper & Hubert Kempf, 2004. "Overturning Mundell: Fiscal Policy in a Monetary Union," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 71(2), pages 371-396.
  4. Jordi GalÌ & Roberto Perotti, 2003. "Fiscal policy and monetary integration in Europe," Economic Policy, CEPR & CES & MSH, vol. 18(37), pages 533-572, October.
  5. Canova, Fabio & Pappa, Evi, 2004. "Does it Cost to be Virtuous? The Macroeconomic Effect of Fiscal Constraints," CEPR Discussion Papers 4747, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  6. Alfredo Cuevas, 2003. "Reforming Intergovernmental Fiscal Relations in Argentina," IMF Working Papers 03/90, International Monetary Fund.
  7. Carlos E. Zarazaga, 1993. "Hyperinflations and moral hazard in the appropriation of seigniorage," Working Papers 93-26, Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia.
  8. Russell W. Cooper & Hubert Kempf., 2001. "Dollarization and the conquest of hyperinflation in divided societies," Quarterly Review, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis, issue Sum, pages 3-12.
  9. Juan Pablo Nicolini & Josefina Posadas & Juan Sanguinetti & Pablo Sanguinetti & Mariano Tommasi, 2002. "Decentralization, Fiscal Discipline in Sub-National Governments and the Bailout Problem: The Case of Argentina," Research Department Publications 3160, Inter-American Development Bank, Research Department.
  10. Sebastian M. Saiegh & Mariano Tommasi, 1999. "Why is Argentina’s Fiscal Federalism so Inefficient? Entering the Labyrinth," Journal of Applied Economics, Universidad del CEMA, vol. 0, pages 169-209, May.
  11. Chari, V.V. & Kehoe, Patrick J., 2007. "On the need for fiscal constraints in a monetary union," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 54(8), pages 2399-2408, November.
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Cited by:
  1. repec:hal:journl:halshs-00344475 is not listed on IDEAS
  2. Friederike Niepmann & Tim Schmidt-Eisenlohr, 2013. "Bank Bailouts, International Linkages, and Cooperation," American Economic Journal: Economic Policy, American Economic Association, vol. 5(4), pages 270-305, November.
  3. Marina Azzimonti & Eva de Francisco & Vincenzo Quadrini, 2012. "Financial globalization, inequality, and the raising of public debt," Working Papers 12-6, Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia.
  4. Russell Cooper & Hubert Kempf & Dan Peled, 2009. "Insulation Impossible: Fiscal Spillovers in a Monetary Union," NBER Working Papers 15176, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  5. repec:hal:journl:halshs-00497430 is not listed on IDEAS
  6. Thushyanthan Baskaran & Zohal Hessami, 2013. "Monetary Integration, Soft Budget Constraints, and the EMU Sovereign Debt Crises," Working Paper Series of the Department of Economics, University of Konstanz 2013-03, Department of Economics, University of Konstanz.
  7. Cooper, R. & Kempf, H. & Peled, D., 2007. "Regional Debt in Monetary Unions: Is it Inflationary?," Working papers 186, Banque de France.
  8. Jerome Creel & Etienne Farvaque, 2009. "The political economy of balanced-budget rules," Documents de Travail de l'OFCE 2009-06, Observatoire Francais des Conjonctures Economiques (OFCE).
  9. Russell Cooper, 2012. "Fragile Debt and the Credible Sharing of Strategic Uncertainty," NBER Working Papers 18377, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.

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