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Fiscal consolidation and decentralisation: a tale of two tiers

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  • Julia Darby
  • V. Anton Muscatelli
  • Graeme Roy

Abstract

This paper contributes to the established literature on fiscal consolidations by investigating the distinct behaviour of central and sub-central tiers of government during general government consolidation attempts. In the light of different degrees of decentralisation across OECD countries, and the different responsibilities devolved to sub-central tiers, we believe that this approach offers an illuminating insight into the analysis of fiscal consolidations and their success. We show that the involvement of the sub-central tiers of government is crucial to achieving cuts in expenditure, particularly in relation to the overall size of the government wage bill. In addition, central governments appear to exert a strong influence on the expenditure of sub-central tiers through their grant allocations, and control of these allocations appears to have a considerable impact upon the overall success of consolidation attempts. Finally, we demonstrate that there is a skewness in cuts towards sub-central capital expenditure both when central governments cut grant allocations and when sub-central governments engage in lone consolidation attempts.

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by Institute for Fiscal Studies in its journal Fiscal Studies.

Volume (Year): 26 (2005)
Issue (Month): 2 (June)
Pages: 169-195

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Handle: RePEc:ifs:fistud:v:26:y:2005:i:2:p:169-195

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  1. Heylen, Freddy & Everaert, Gerdie, 2000. " Success and Failure of Fiscal Consolidation in the OECD: A Multivariate Analysis," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 105(1-2), pages 103-24, October.
  2. Nouriel Roubini & Jeffrey Sachs, 1988. "Political and Economic Determinants of Budget Deficits in the IndustrialDemocracies," NBER Working Papers 2682, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  3. repec:fth:eeccco:148 is not listed on IDEAS
  4. Hjelm, Göran & Johansson, Martin W, 2002. "Structural Change in Fiscal Policy and The Permanence of Fiscal Contractions - The Case of Denmark and Ireland," Working Papers 2002:11, Lund University, Department of Economics.
  5. Giavazzi, Francesco & Jappelli, Tullio & Pagano, Marco, 2000. "Searching for non-linear effects of fiscal policy: Evidence from industrial and developing countries," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 44(7), pages 1259-1289, June.
  6. Jürgen von Hagen & Andrew Hughes Hallett & Rolf Strauch, 2001. "Budgetary Consolidation in EMU," European Economy - Economic Papers 148, Directorate General Economic and Monetary Affairs (DG ECFIN), European Commission.
  7. Roubini, Nouriel & Sachs, Jeffrey D., 1989. "Political and economic determinants of budget deficits in the industrial democracies," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 33(5), pages 903-933, May.
  8. Alesina, Alberto & Drazen, Allan, 1991. "Why Are Stabilizations Delayed?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 81(5), pages 1170-88, December.
  9. Ebel, Robert D. & Yilmaz, Serdar, 2002. "On the measurement and impact of fiscal decentralization," Policy Research Working Paper Series 2809, The World Bank.
  10. repec:fth:coluec:754 is not listed on IDEAS
  11. David H. Romer & Christina D. Romer, 2000. "Federal Reserve Information and the Behavior of Interest Rates," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 90(3), pages 429-457, June.
  12. Rudiger Dornbusch, 1988. "Credibility, Debt and Unemployment: Ireland's Failed Stabilization," NBER Working Papers 2785, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  13. Olivier Jean Blanchard, 1990. "Suggestions for a New Set of Fiscal Indicators," OECD Economics Department Working Papers 79, OECD Publishing.
  14. Bradley, John & Whelan, Karl, 1997. "The Irish expansionary fiscal contraction: A tale from one small European economy," Economic Modelling, Elsevier, vol. 14(2), pages 175-201, April.
  15. Christophe Kamps, 2001. "Fiscal Consolidation in Europe: Pre- and Post-Maastricht," Kiel Working Papers 1028, Kiel Institute for the World Economy.
  16. Alberto Alesina & Roberto Perotti, 1994. "The Political Economy of Budget Deficits," NBER Working Papers 4637, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  17. Edward M. Gramlich, 1990. "Fiscal Indicators," OECD Economics Department Working Papers 80, OECD Publishing.
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Cited by:
  1. Peter Claeys & Raúl Ramos & Jordi Suriñach, 2007. "Fiscal Sustainability Across Government Tiers," Working Papers XREAP2007-14, Xarxa de Referència en Economia Aplicada (XREAP), revised 2007.
  2. Albert Sole-Olle & Pilar Sorribas-Navarro, 2009. "The dynamic adjustment of local government budgets: Does Spain Behave differently?," Working Papers in Economics 226, Universitat de Barcelona. Espai de Recerca en Economia.
  3. Julia Darby & V. Anton Muscatelli & Graeme Roy, . "Fiscal Federalism and Fiscal Consolidation: Evidence from an Event Study," Working Papers 2005_21, Business School - Economics, University of Glasgow, revised Jun 2005.
  4. Eyraud, Luc & Lusinyan, Lusine, 2013. "Vertical fiscal imbalances and fiscal performance in advanced economies," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 60(5), pages 571-587.
  5. Julia Darby & Anton Muscatelli & Graeme Roy, 2004. "Fiscal Federalism, Fiscal Consolidations and Cuts in Central Government Grants: Evidence from an Event Study," CESifo Working Paper Series 1305, CESifo Group Munich.
  6. Julia Darby & Anton Muscatelli & Graeme Roy, 2006. "Asymmetries in the Responses of Sub-Central Governments to Changes in Grants: Evidence From an Event Study," ERSA conference papers ersa06p508, European Regional Science Association.
  7. Alexander Plekhanov & Manmohan S. Kumar & Daniel Leigh, 2007. "Fiscal Adjustments," IMF Working Papers 07/178, International Monetary Fund.
  8. Vincent C. Blackburn & Richard Gerlach & Vasilis Sarafidis, 2007. "Dynamic Budgetary Adjustments in the Australian State Government Finance Sector: An Econometric Approach," Journal of Economics and Management, College of Business, Feng Chia University, Taiwan, vol. 3(2), pages 125-159, July.

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