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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 paper studies the repayment of regional debt in a multi-region economy with a central authority: who pays the obligation issued by a region? With commitment, a central government will use its taxation power to smooth distortionary taxes across regions. Absent commitment, the central government may be induced to bailout the regional government in order to smooth consumption and distortionary taxes across the regions. We characterize the conditions under which bailouts occur and their welfare implications. The gains to creating a federation are higher when the (government spending) shocks across regions are negatively correlated and volatile. We use these insights to comment on actual fiscal relations in three quite different federations: the US, the European Union and Argentina.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 11655.

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Date of creation: Oct 2005
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Publication status: published as Russell Cooper & Hubert Kempf & Dan Peled, 2008. "Is It Is Or Is It Ain'T My Obligation? Regional Debt In A Fiscal Federation," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 49(4), pages 1469-1504, November.
Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:11655

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References

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  1. Sanguinetti, Pablo & Tommasi, Mariano, 2004. "Intergovernmental transfers and fiscal behavior insurance versus aggregate discipline," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 62(1), pages 149-170, January.
  2. Russell Cooper & Hubert Kempf, 2004. "Overturning Mundell: Fiscal Policy in a Monetary Union," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 71(2), pages 371-396, 04.
  3. Jordi GalÌ & Roberto Perotti, 2003. "Fiscal policy and monetary integration in Europe," Economic Policy, CEPR & CES & MSH, vol. 18(37), pages 533-572, October.
  4. Alfredo Cuevas, 2003. "Reforming Intergovernmental Fiscal Relations in Argentina," IMF Working Papers 03/90, International Monetary Fund.
  5. 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.
  6. Fabio Canova & Evi Pappa, 2006. "Does it Cost to be Virtuous? The Macroeconomic Effects of Fiscal Constraints," NBER Chapters, in: NBER International Seminar on Macroeconomics 2004, pages 327-370 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  7. Carlos E. Zarazaga, 1993. "Hyperinflations and moral hazard in the appropriation of seigniorage," Working Papers 93-26, Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia.
  8. V. V. Chari & Patrick J. Kehoe, 1998. "On the need for fiscal constraints in a monetary union," Working Papers 589, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis.
  9. James M. Poterba, 1996. "Budget Institutions and Fiscal Policy in the U.S. States," NBER Working Papers 5449, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  10. 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.
  11. 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.
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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. Russell Cooper & Hubert Kempf & Dan Peled, 2009. "Insulation impossible: fiscal spillovers in a monetary union," Globalization and Monetary Policy Institute Working Paper 30, Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas.
  2. 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.
  3. Russell Cooper, 2012. "Fragile Debt and the Credible Sharing of Strategic Uncertainty," NBER Working Papers 18377, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  4. 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.
  5. repec:hal:journl:halshs-00497430 is not listed on IDEAS
  6. Cooper, R. & Kempf, H. & Peled, D., 2007. "Regional Debt in Monetary Unions: Is it Inflationary?," Working papers 186, Banque de France.
  7. Friederike Niepmann & Tim Schmidt-Eisenlohr, 2011. "Bank Bailouts, International Linkages and Cooperation," Working Papers 170, Oesterreichische Nationalbank (Austrian Central Bank).
  8. repec:hal:journl:halshs-00344475 is not listed on IDEAS
  9. 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).

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