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The flypaper effect: evidence from a natural experiment in Hesse

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  • Baskaran, Thushyanthan

Abstract

Theory suggests that transfers should have an effect on local fiscal policy that is similar to an equivalent increase in local incomes. Yet much of the empirical literature shows that local governments use transfers primarily to increase expenditures. Recent contributions have revisited this so called flypaper effect by using quasi-experimental methods, and some have found that the evidence for the flypaper effect dissipates once endogeneity of transfer receipts is accounted for. This paper contributes to the growing body of quasi-experimental research on the flypaper effect by exploiting a natural experiment in the German state of Hesse. Using discontinuities in the Hessian municipal transfer allocation formula to construct a set of instruments for municipal transfer receipts during the 2001-2010 period, it provides strong evidence in favor of the flypaper effect.

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Paper provided by University Library of Munich, Germany in its series MPRA Paper with number 37144.

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Date of creation: Mar 2012
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Handle: RePEc:pra:mprapa:37144

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Keywords: Equalization transfers; Local fiscal policy; Population thresholds;

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  1. Christopher F Baum & Mark E Schaffer & Steven Stillman, 2002. "IVREG2: Stata module for extended instrumental variables/2SLS and GMM estimation," Statistical Software Components S425401, Boston College Department of Economics, revised 28 Jul 2014.
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  4. Peter Egger & Marko Koethenbuerger & Michael Smart, 2007. "Do Fiscal Transfers Alleviate Business Tax Competition? Evidence from Germany," CESifo Working Paper Series 1955, CESifo Group Munich.
  5. Joseph G. Altonji & Todd E. Elder & Christopher R. Taber, 2002. "An Evaluation of Instrumental Variable Strategies for Estimating the Effects of Catholic Schools," NBER Working Papers 9358, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  6. Bucovetsky, Sam, 1998. "Federalism, equalization and risk aversion," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 67(3), pages 301-328, March.
  7. Gordon, Nora, 2004. "Do federal grants boost school spending? Evidence from Title I," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 88(9-10), pages 1771-1792, August.
  8. Brian Knight, 2002. "Endogenous Federal Grants and Crowd-out of State Government Spending: Theory and Evidence from the Federal Highway Aid Program," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 92(1), pages 71-92, March.
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Cited by:
  1. Baskaran, Thushyanthan & da Fonseca, Mariana Lopes, 2013. "Electoral thresholds and political outcomes: Quasi-experimental evidence from a reform in Germany," Center for European, Governance and Economic Development Research Discussion Papers 177, University of Goettingen, Department of Economics.
  2. Thushyanthan Baskaran, 2013. "Do bailouts buy votes? Evidence from a panel of Hessian municipalities," Economics of Governance, Springer, vol. 14(3), pages 257-278, August.
  3. Baskaran, Thushyanthan, 2013. "Identifying local tax mimicking: Administrative borders and a policy reform," Center for European, Governance and Economic Development Research Discussion Papers 157, University of Goettingen, Department of Economics.
  4. Asatryan, Zareh & Baskaran, Thushyanthan & Grigoriadis, Theocharis & Heinemann, Friedrich, 2013. "Direct democracy and local public finances under cooperative federalism," ZEW Discussion Papers 13-038, ZEW - Zentrum für Europäische Wirtschaftsforschung / Center for European Economic Research.
  5. Philippe Cyrenne & Manish Pandey, 2013. "Fiscal Equalization, Government Expenditures and Endogenous Growth," Departmental Working Papers 2013-03, The University of Winnipeg, Department of Economics.

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