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Vertical aspects of sub-national deficits: the impact of fiscal rules and tax autonomy in European countries

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  • Foremny, Dirk

Abstract

This article offers an empirical answer to the question of which institutional arrangements can help to keep the accounts of sub-national governments in balance. I take into consideration the autonomy that these governments have in raising their revenues and fiscal rules as formulated in law or constitutions. The former works as an implicit constraint since governments with more autonomy might assume higher responsibility for accumulated deficits. The latter works as a direct explicit constraint on sub-national borrowing, but might be subject to endogeneity through preferences for fiscal responsibility. This potential source of bias is taken into account by using IV techniques for fiscal rules. Results from my original dataset, covering full information for 14 years of all EU15 countries, show that the effectiveness of tools depends critically on the federal background. Fiscal rules work in unitary countries, while higher tax autonomy yields lower deficits in federations.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by University Library of Munich, Germany in its series MPRA Paper with number 32998.

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Date of creation: 26 Aug 2011
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Handle: RePEc:pra:mprapa:32998

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Keywords: sub-national deficits; fiscal rules; soft budget constraints; fiscal federalism;

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References

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  1. Beck, T.H.L. & Clarke, G. & Groff, A. & Keefer , P. & Walsh, P., 2001. "New tools in comparative political economy: The database of political institutions," Open Access publications from Tilburg University urn:nbn:nl:ui:12-3125517, Tilburg University.
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  6. Marko Köthenbürger, 2006. "Ex-Post Redistribution in a Federation: Implications for Corrective Policy," CESifo Working Paper Series 1754, CESifo Group Munich.
  7. Xavier Debrun & Laurent Moulin & Alessandro Turrini & Joaquim Ayuso-i-Casals & Manmohan S. Kumar, 2008. "Tied to the mast? National fiscal rules in the European Union," Economic Policy, CEPR & CES & MSH, vol. 23, pages 297-362, 04.
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  11. Douglas Sutherland & Robert W.R. Price & Isabelle Joumard, 2005. "Fiscal Rules for Sub-central Governments: Design and Impact," OECD Economics Department Working Papers 465, OECD Publishing.
  12. Breuillé, Marie-Laure & Vigneault, Marianne, 2010. "Overlapping soft budget constraints," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 67(3), pages 259-269, May.
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  14. Jonathan A. Rodden & Gunnar S. Eskeland (ed.), 2003. "Fiscal Decentralization and the Challenge of Hard Budget Constraints," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 0262182297, December.
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Cited by:
  1. Moessinger, Marc-Daniel & Feld, Lars P. & Kalb, Alexander & Osterloh, Steffen, 2013. "Sovereign Bond Market Reactions to Fiscal Rules and No-Bailout Clauses The Swiss Experience," Annual Conference 2013 (Duesseldorf): Competition Policy and Regulation in a Global Economic Order 79807, Verein für Socialpolitik / German Economic Association.
  2. Heinemann, Friedrich & Osterloh, Steffen & Kalb, Alexander, 2014. "Sovereign risk premia: The link between fiscal rules and stability culture," Journal of International Money and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 41(C), pages 110-127.
  3. Ellegård, Lina Maria, 2013. "Divided We Fall. Conflicts of Interests Regarding Fiscal Discipline in Municipal Hierarchies," Working Papers 2013:42, Lund University, Department of Economics.

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