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Federal Transfers and Fiscal Discipline in India: An Empirical Evaluation

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This paper examines the relationship between federal transfers and fiscal deficits in India. The system of federal transfers has been criticized on the grounds that it distorts the incentives for states to promote fiscal discipline. We analyze the relationship between transfers, state domestic product, and fiscal deficit for a panel of states during the period 1990–2010. The paper finds a positive long-run relationship and bi-directional causality between primary/gross fiscal deficits and non-plan transfers. Further, there is a negative long-run relationship and one-way causality between state domestic product and transfers. These results are confirmed by multi-variate cointegration analysis, which finds a long-run relationship between fiscal transfers, state product per capita and the primary deficit of the states. The evidence in the paper is consistent with the system of fiscal transfers being “gap-filling.”

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Paper provided by Tor Vergata University, CEIS in its series CEIS Research Paper with number 271.

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Length: 34 pages
Date of creation: 17 Apr 2013
Date of revision: 17 Apr 2013
Handle: RePEc:rtv:ceisrp:271

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Postal: CEIS - Centre for Economic and International Studies - Faculty of Economics - University of Rome "Tor Vergata" - Via Columbia, 2 00133 Roma
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Web: http://www.ceistorvergata.it

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Keywords: Federal transfers; India; public finance; panel cointegration; panel ECM;

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  1. Pasaran, M.H. & Im, K.S. & Shin, Y., 1995. "Testing for Unit Roots in Heterogeneous Panels," Cambridge Working Papers in Economics 9526, Faculty of Economics, University of Cambridge.
  2. Joakim Westerlund, 2007. "Testing for Error Correction in Panel Data," Oxford Bulletin of Economics and Statistics, Department of Economics, University of Oxford, vol. 69(6), pages 709-748, December.
  3. Levin, Andrew & Lin, Chien-Fu & James Chu, Chia-Shang, 2002. "Unit root tests in panel data: asymptotic and finite-sample properties," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 108(1), pages 1-24, May.
  4. Robin Boadway & Anwar Shah, 2007. "Intergovernmental Fiscal Transfers : Principles and Practice," World Bank Publications, The World Bank, number 7171, October.
  5. Jeroen J.M. Kremers & Neil R. Ericsson & Juan J. Dolado, 1992. "The power of cointegration tests," International Finance Discussion Papers 431, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
  6. Alessandrini, Michele & Fattouh, Bassam & Ferrarini, Benno & Scaramozzino, Pasquale, 2011. "Tariff liberalization and trade specialization: Lessons from India," Journal of Comparative Economics, Elsevier, vol. 39(4), pages 499-513.
  7. Eric Zivot & Donald W.K. Andrews, 1990. "Further Evidence on the Great Crash, the Oil Price Shock, and the Unit Root Hypothesis," Cowles Foundation Discussion Papers 944, Cowles Foundation for Research in Economics, Yale University.
  8. Kao, Chihwa, 1999. "Spurious regression and residual-based tests for cointegration in panel data," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 90(1), pages 1-44, May.
  9. Rayaprolu Nagaraj & Aristomène Varoudakis & Marie-Ange Véganzonès, 1998. "Long-Run Growth Trends and Convergence Across Indian States," OECD Development Centre Working Papers 131, OECD Publishing.
  10. Kaddour Hadri, 1999. "Testing For Stationarity In Heterogeneous Panel Data," Research Papers 1999_04, University of Liverpool Management School.
  11. Damiaan Persyn & Joakim Westerlund, 2008. "Error-correction–based cointegration tests for panel data," Stata Journal, StataCorp LP, vol. 8(2), pages 232-241, June.
  12. Alessandrini, Michele & Buccellato, Tullio & Scaramozzino, Pasquale, 2008. "Whither the Indian Federation? Regional Disparities and Economic Reforms," MPRA Paper 23416, University Library of Munich, Germany.
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