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Closing the Gap: Fiscal Imbalaces and Intergovernmental Transfers in Developed Federations

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Abstract

This paper discusses the concepts of vertical fiscal imbalance (the fiscal gap) and horizontal fiscal imbalance (equalization) and uses several statistics to measure these concepts for eight industrially developed federations: Australia, Austria, Belgium, Canada, Germany, Spain, Switzerland, and the United States. Although the periods covered and the detail provided vary from country to country due to limitations in data availability, the overall coverage in this paper seems more complete and comparable than in previous studies. The paper also outlines briefly the types of intergovernmental fiscal transfers used to deal with fiscal imbalances in the eight countries under consideration. Although this account is necessarily highly condensed, given the complexity of transfer systems in most countries, the frequency with which changes are made, and the difficulty of obtaining complete information, it is nonetheless broadly accurate.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by International Center for Public Policy, Andrew Young School of Policy Studies, Georgia State University in its series International Center for Public Policy Working Paper Series, at AYSPS, GSU with number paper0202.

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Length: 58 pages
Date of creation: 01 Mar 2002
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:ays:ispwps:paper0202

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Keywords: intergovernmental transfers; fiscal imbalances;

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  1. Teresa Garcia-Milà & Therese J. McGuire, 2002. "Fiscal decentralization in Spain: An asymmetric transition to democracy," Economics Working Papers 866, Department of Economics and Business, Universitat Pompeu Fabra.
  2. Shankar, Raja & Shah, Anwar, 2003. "Bridging the Economic Divide Within Countries: A Scorecard on the Performance of Regional Policies in Reducing Regional Income Disparities," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 31(8), pages 1421-1441, August.
  3. Bird, Richard M., 1993. "Threading the Fiscal Labyrinth: Some Issues in Fiscal Decentralization," National Tax Journal, National Tax Association, vol. 46(2), pages 207-27, June.
  4. Walter Hettich & Stanley L. Winer, 1986. "Vertical Imbalance in the Fiscal Systems of Federal States," Canadian Journal of Economics, Canadian Economics Association, vol. 19(4), pages 745-65, November.
  5. Brennan,Geoffrey & Buchanan,James M., 1980. "The Power to Tax," Cambridge Books, Cambridge University Press, number 9780521233293.
  6. Antoni Castells, 2001. "The role of intergovernmental finance in achieving diversity and cohesion: the case of Spain," Environment and Planning C: Government and Policy, Pion Ltd, London, vol. 19(2), pages 189-206, April.
  7. Richard M Bird & Fran�ois Vaillancourt, 2001. "Fiscal arrangements for maintaining an effective state in Canada," Environment and Planning C: Government and Policy, Pion Ltd, London, vol. 19(2), pages 163-187, April.
  8. Ebel, Robert D. & Yilmaz, Serdar, 2002. "On the measurement and impact of fiscal decentralization," Policy Research Working Paper Series 2809, The World Bank.
  9. Richard A. Musgrave, 1961. "Approaches to a Fiscal Theory of Political Federalism," NBER Chapters, in: Public Finances: Needs, Sources, and Utilization, pages 97-134 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  10. M G Rao & A Das-Gupta, 1995. "Intergovernmental transfers and poverty alleviation," Environment and Planning C: Government and Policy, Pion Ltd, London, vol. 13(1), pages 1-23, February.
  11. Bernd Huber & Christian Baretti & Karl Lichtblau, 2000. "A Tax on Tax Revenue. The Incentive Effects of Equalizing Transfers: Evidence from Germany," CESifo Working Paper Series 333, CESifo Group Munich.
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Cited by:
  1. Eduardo A. Haddad & Carlos A. Luque, Gilberto T. Lima, Sergio N. Sakurai, Silvio M. Costa, 2011. "Impact Assessment of Interregional Government Transfers in Brazil: An Input-output Approach," Working Papers, Department of Economics 2011_11, University of São Paulo (FEA-USP).
  2. Joan Costa-i-Font, 2010. "Unveiling vertical state downscaling: identity and/or the economy?," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 27750, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
  3. Jorge Martinez-Vazquez & Cristian Sepúlveda, 2007. "The Municipal Transfer System in Nicaragua:Evaluation and Proposals for Reform," International Center for Public Policy Working Paper Series, at AYSPS, GSU paper0708, International Center for Public Policy, Andrew Young School of Policy Studies, Georgia State University.
  4. C. Rangarajan & D. K. Srivastava, 2008. "Reforming India’S Fiscal Transfer System: Resolving Vertical And Horizontal Imbalances," Working Papers 2008-031, Madras School of Economics,Chennai,India.
  5. Jorge Martinez-Vazquez & Cristian Sepúlveda, 2011. "Intergovernmental Transfers in Latin America: A Policy Reform Perspective," International Center for Public Policy Working Paper Series, at AYSPS, GSU paper1108, International Center for Public Policy, Andrew Young School of Policy Studies, Georgia State University.
  6. Richard Bird, 2001. "Fiscal Federalism in Russia: A Canadian Perspective," International Tax Program Papers 0409, International Tax Program, Institute for International Business, Joseph L. Rotman School of Management, University of Toronto, revised Dec 2003.
  7. Richard M. Bird, 2003. "Fiscal Flows, Fiscal Balance, and Fiscal Sustainability," International Center for Public Policy Working Paper Series, at AYSPS, GSU paper0302, International Center for Public Policy, Andrew Young School of Policy Studies, Georgia State University.
  8. Robin Boadway & Jean-Francois Tremblay, 2006. "A Theory of Vertical Fiscal Imbalance," Working Papers 1072, Queen's University, Department of Economics.
  9. Juan Luís Gómez & Jorge Martinez-Vazquez & Cristian Sepúlveda, 2007. "Equalization Transfers in Romania: Current System and Proposals for Reform," International Center for Public Policy Working Paper Series, at AYSPS, GSU paper0701, International Center for Public Policy, Andrew Young School of Policy Studies, Georgia State University.
  10. Sharma, Chanchal Kumar, 2010. "Beyond Gaps and Imbalances: Re-Structuring the Debate on Intergovernmental Fiscal Relations," MPRA Paper 32145, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  11. Richard M. Bird, 2008. "Tax Assignment Revisited," International Center for Public Policy Working Paper Series, at AYSPS, GSU paper0805, International Center for Public Policy, Andrew Young School of Policy Studies, Georgia State University.
  12. Luis A. Hierro & Pedro Atienza & David Patiño, 2007. "Inequality and Progressiveness in the Distribution of Revenues of the States in Federal Countries: A Comparitive Study," International Center for Public Policy Working Paper Series, at AYSPS, GSU paper0703, International Center for Public Policy, Andrew Young School of Policy Studies, Georgia State University.
  13. Hierro Recio, Luis Angel & Atienza Montero, Pedro & Gómez-Álvarez Díaz, Rosario, 2010. "La distribución de recursos entre Comunidades Autónomas. Una primera aproximación a los cambios derivados del nuevo modelo de financiación/The Distribution of Resources Between Autonomous Communit," Estudios de Economía Aplicada, Estudios de Economía Aplicada, vol. 28, pages 61-76, Abril.
  14. Francois Vaillancourt & Richard M. Bird, 2005. "The Interregional Incidence of Public Budgets in Federations: Measurement Issues, Evidence from Canada, and Policy Relevance," International Tax Program Papers 0510, International Tax Program, Institute for International Business, Joseph L. Rotman School of Management, University of Toronto.
  15. Dahlby, Bev & Rodden, Jonathan & Wilson, Sam, 2009. "A Median Voter Model of the Vertical Fiscal Gap," Working Papers 2009-14, University of Alberta, Department of Economics.
  16. 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.

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