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The Tax Spending Nexus: Evidence from a Panel of US State-Local Governments

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  • Saeid Mahdavi

    (University of Texas at San Antonio)

  • Joakim Westerlund

    (Lund University)

Abstract

We re-examine the tax-spending nexus using, for the first time, a panel of fifty US state-local government units over the period 1963-97 and panel techniques that allow for cross-sectional dependence. We find that, unlike tax revenues, expenditures adjust to revert back to a long-term equilibrium relationship. The evidence on the short-term dynamics is also consistent with the tax-and-spend hypothesis at the one percent level of significance. One implication of this finding is that the size of the government at the state-local level is not determined by expenditure demand, but rather by resource supply. This is consistent with the fact that many US state and local governments operate under constitutional or legislative limitations that seek to constrain deficits.

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File URL: http://www.business.utsa.edu/wps/eco/0045ECO-090-2008.pdf
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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by College of Business, University of Texas at San Antonio in its series Working Papers with number 0045.

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Length: 30 pages
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Handle: RePEc:tsa:wpaper:0045

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Keywords: tax-spend; state and local government; public finance; and panel cointegration.;

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  1. Rolf Larsson & Johan Lyhagen & Mickael Lothgren, 2001. "Likelihood-based cointegration tests in heterogeneous panels," Econometrics Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 4(1), pages 41.
  2. Jushan Bai & Serena Ng, 2001. "A Panic Attack on Unit Roots and Cointegration," Economics Working Paper Archive 469, The Johns Hopkins University,Department of Economics.
  3. Skidmore, Mark, 1999. " Tax and Expenditure Limitations and the Fiscal Relationships between State and Local Governments," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 99(1-2), pages 77-102, April.
  4. Douglas Holtz-Eakin & Whitney K. Newey & Harvey S. Rosen, 1987. "The Revenues-Expenditures Nexus: Evidence from Local Government Data," NBER Working Papers 2180, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  5. Hoover, Kevin D & Sheffrin, Steven M, 1992. "Causation, Spending, and Taxes: Sand in the Sandbox or Tax Collector for the Welfare State?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 82(1), pages 225-48, March.
  6. Johansen, Soren, 1988. "Statistical analysis of cointegration vectors," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 12(2-3), pages 231-254.
  7. 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.
  8. L. Vanessa Smith & Stephen Leybourne & Tae-Hwan Kim & Paul Newbold, 2004. "More powerful panel data unit root tests with an application to mean reversion in real exchange rates," Journal of Applied Econometrics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 19(2), pages 147-170.
  9. James E. Payne, 2003. "A Survey of the International Empirical Evidence on the Tax-Spend Debate," Public Finance Review, , vol. 31(3), pages 302-324, May.
  10. Payne, James E, 1998. " The Tax-Spend Debate: Time Series Evidence from State Budgets," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 95(3-4), pages 307-20, June.
  11. Joulfaian, David & Mookerjee, Rajen, 1990. "The Intertemporal Relationship between State and Local Government Revenues and Expenditures: Evidence from OECD Countries," Public Finance = Finances publiques, , vol. 45(1), pages 109-17.
  12. Del Guercio, Diane & Dann, Larry Y. & Partch, M. Megan, 2003. "Governance and boards of directors in closed-end investment companies," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 69(1), pages 111-152, July.
  13. Barro, Robert J, 1979. "On the Determination of the Public Debt," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 87(5), pages 940-71, October.
  14. Barclay, Michael J. & Holderness, Clifford G. & Pontiff, Jeffrey, 1993. "Private benefits from block ownership and discounts on closed-end funds," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 33(3), pages 263-291, June.
  15. Alan T. Peacock & Jack Wiseman, 1979. "Approaches To the Analysis of Government Expenditure Growth," Public Finance Review, , vol. 7(1), pages 3-23, January.
  16. Choi, In, 2001. "Unit root tests for panel data," Journal of International Money and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 20(2), pages 249-272, April.
  17. Deli, Daniel N. & Varma, Raj, 2002. "Closed-end versus open-end: the choice of organizational form," Journal of Corporate Finance, Elsevier, vol. 8(1), pages 1-27, January.
  18. Meltzer, Allan H & Richard, Scott F, 1981. "A Rational Theory of the Size of Government," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 89(5), pages 914-27, October.
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