Fiscal Federalism and Optimum Currency Areas: Evidence for Europe From the United States
AbstractThe main goal of this paper is to estimate to what extent the federal government of the United States insures member states against regional income shocks. We find that a one dollar reduction in a region's per capita personal income triggers a decrease in federal taxes of about 34 cents and an increase in federal transfers of about 6 cents. Hence, the final reduction in disposable per capita income is on the order of 60 cents. That is, between one third and one half of the initial shock is absorbed by the federal government. The much larger reaction of taxes than transfers to these regional imbalances reflects the fact that the main mechanism at work is the federal income tax system which in turn means that the stabilization process is automatic rather than specifically designed each time there is a cyclical movement in income. Some economists may want to argue that this regional insurance scheme provided by the federal government is an important reason why the system of fixed exchange rates that exists within the United States today has survived without major problems. Under this view, the creation of a European Central Bank that issues unified European currency without the simultaneous introduction (or expansion) of a fiscal federalist system could put the project at risk. Rough calculations of the impact of the existing European tax system on regional income suggests that a one dollar shock to regional GDP will reduce tax payments to the EEC government by half a cent!. Hence, the current European tax system has a long way to go before it reaches the 34 cents of the U.S. Federal Government.
Download InfoIf you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.
Bibliographic InfoPaper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 3855.
Date of creation: Oct 1991
Date of revision:
Publication status: published as De Grauwe, Paul (ed.) The political economy of monetary union, Elgar Reference Collection. International Library of Critical Writings in Economics, vol. 134. Cheltenham, U.K. and Northampton, MA: Elgar, 2001.
Note: ITI IFM
Contact details of provider:
Postal: National Bureau of Economic Research, 1050 Massachusetts Avenue Cambridge, MA 02138, U.S.A.
Web page: http://www.nber.org
More information through EDIRC
Other versions of this item:
- Sachs, Jeffrey & Sala-i-Martin, Xavier, 1992. "Fiscal Federalism and Optimum Currency Areas: Evidence for Europe from the United States," CEPR Discussion Papers 632, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
- F31 - International Economics - - International Finance - - - Foreign Exchange
- F33 - International Economics - - International Finance - - - International Monetary Arrangements and Institutions
- H00 - Public Economics - - General - - - General
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
- Blanchard, Olivier J, 1985.
"Debt, Deficits, and Finite Horizons,"
Journal of Political Economy,
University of Chicago Press, vol. 93(2), pages 223-47, April.
- Maurice Obstfeld, 1984.
"Capital Controls, The Dual Exchange Rate, and Devaluation,"
NBER Working Papers
1324, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Obstfeld, Maurice, 1986. "Capital controls, the dual exchange rate, and devaluation," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 20(1-2), pages 1-20, February.
- Barro, Robert J., 1974.
"Are Government Bonds Net Wealth?,"
3451399, Harvard University Department of Economics.
- Robert J. Barro & David B. Gordon, 1983.
"Rules, Discretion and Reputation in a Model of Monetary Policy,"
NBER Working Papers
1079, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Barro, Robert J. & Gordon, David B., 1983. "Rules, discretion and reputation in a model of monetary policy," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 12(1), pages 101-121.
- Thomas Willett & Edward Tower, 1970. "Currency areas and exchange-rate flexibility," Review of World Economics (Weltwirtschaftliches Archiv), Springer, vol. 105(1), pages 48-65, September.
Blog mentionsAs found by EconAcademics.org, the blog aggregator for Economics research:
- Le aporie del più Europa
by Alberto Bagnai in Goofynomics on 2012-08-05 15:59:00
- L'uscita dell'euro redux: la Realpolitik colpisce ancora
by Alberto Bagnai in Goofynomics on 2011-11-29 08:56:00
- A domanda rispondo
by Alberto Bagnai in Goofynomics on 2012-11-25 22:59:00
- Convergiamo? In tanto tempo forse ci riusciamo...
by Alberto Bagnai in Goofynomics on 2013-09-11 10:19:00
This item has more than 25 citations. To prevent cluttering this page, these citations are listed on a separate page. reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.Access and download statisticsgeneral information about how to correct material in RePEc.
For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: ().
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.