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The dynamic adjustment of local government budgets: does Spain behave differently?

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  • Albert Solé-Ollé
  • Pilar Sorribas-Navarro

Abstract

The aim of this article is to analyse whether Spanish municipalities adjust in response to budget shocks and (if so) which elements of the budget they are more likely to adjust. The methodology we use to answer these questions is a Vector Error Correction Model (VECM), estimated with data from a panel of Spanish municipalities during the period 1988 to 2006. Our results confirm that Spanish municipalities do indeed make adjustments in response to fiscal shocks (i.e. the deficit is stationary in the long run). We compare our results with those obtained for US and Germany to evaluate if the viability of local finance depends on the institutional arrangement and to analyse how it affects the adjustment patterns. We observe that grants have a more important role in the adjustment process in environments where either they have an equalization objective or where there is no clear rule that determines their distribution. This fact can generate a moral hazard problem: governments tend to spend more due to the expected intervention by the central government. Own revenues have a lower adjustment capacity in environments where subcentral governments have limited fiscal autonomy. These results, however, suggest that the viability of the local finance system is feasible with different institutional arrangements.

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File URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10.1080/00036846.2011.570723
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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by Taylor & Francis Journals in its journal Applied Economics.

Volume (Year): 44 (2012)
Issue (Month): 25 (September)
Pages: 3203-3213

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Handle: RePEc:taf:applec:44:y:2012:i:25:p:3203-3213

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  16. Julia Darby & V. Anton Muscatelli & Graeme Roy, 2004. "Fiscal Consolidation And Decentralisation: A Tale Of Two Tiers," Working Papers 2004_2, Business School - Economics, University of Glasgow.
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  21. Albert Solé-Ollé & Elisabet Viladecans-Marsal, 2007. "Economic and political determinants of urban expansion: Exploring the local connection," Working Papers 2007/5, Institut d'Economia de Barcelona (IEB).
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Cited by:
  1. Benny Geys & Federico Revelli, 2011. "Economic and political foundations of local tax structures: an empirical investigation of the tax mix of Flemish municipalities," Environment and Planning C: Government and Policy, Pion Ltd, London, vol. 29(3), pages 410-427, June.
  2. Kappeler, Andreas & Solé-Ollé, Albert & Stephan, Andreas & Välilä, Timo, 2013. "Does fiscal decentralization foster regional investment in productive infrastructure?," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 31(C), pages 15-25.
  3. Albert Solé-Ollé & Elisabet Viladecans-Marsal, 2011. "Local spending and the housing boom," Working Papers 2011/27, Institut d'Economia de Barcelona (IEB).

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