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Fiscal federalism in Germany: Stabilization and redistribution before and after unification

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  • Hepp, Ralf
  • von Hagen, Jürgen

Abstract

We provide empirical estimates of the risk-sharing and redistributive properties of the German federal from 1970 until 2006, with special attention to the effects of German fiscal system base unification. We find that tax revenue sharing between the states and the federal government and the fiscal equalization mechanism (Länderfinanzausgleich) together reduce differences in per-capita state incomes by 36.9 percent during period 1970 to 1994. After the full integration of East German states into the mechanism in 1995, the redistributive effects increase slightly to about 38.6 percent. With respect to the insurance effect of the German fiscal system, our results indicate that the federal fiscal system offsets 47 percent of an asymmetric shock to state per-capita incomes. This effect has significantly decreased after the inclusion of the East German states in 1995. Furthermore, we find that the German fiscal system provides almost perfect insurance for state government budgets against asymmetric revenue shocks; also, its redistributive effect with regard to the tax resources available to state governments is very strong. --

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by ZEI - Center for European Integration Studies, University of Bonn in its series ZEI Working Papers with number B 01-2009.

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Date of creation: 2009
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Handle: RePEc:zbw:zeiwps:b012009

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Keywords: Regional Risk-sharing; Fiscal Federalism; Monetary Union;

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References

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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. Masayoshi Hayashi, 2012. "Channels of Stabilization in a System of Local Public Health Insurance: The Case of the National Health Insurance in Japan," CIRJE F-Series CIRJE-F-847, CIRJE, Faculty of Economics, University of Tokyo.
  2. Masayoshi Hayashi, 2013. "On the Decomposition of Regional Stabilization and Redistribution," CIRJE F-Series CIRJE-F-910, CIRJE, Faculty of Economics, University of Tokyo.
  3. Lago-Peñas, Santiago & Prada, Albino & Vaquero, Alberto, 2013. "On the Size and Determinants of Inter-regional Redistribution in European Countries over the Period 1995-2009," MPRA Paper 45406, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  4. Ralf Hepp & Jürgen von Hagen, 2010. "Interstate Risk Sharing in Germany: 1970-2006," Fordham Economics Discussion Paper Series dp2010-04, Fordham University, Department of Economics.
  5. Yongzheng Liu, 2014. "Does Competition for Capital Discipline Governments? The Role of Fiscal Equalization," International Center for Public Policy Working Paper Series, at AYSPS, GSU paper1404, International Center for Public Policy, Andrew Young School of Policy Studies, Georgia State University.
  6. Heinemann, Friedrich & Janeba, Eckhard & Moessinger, Marc-Daniel & Schröder, Christoph, 2013. "Revenue autonomy preference in German state parliaments," ZEW Discussion Papers 13-090, ZEW - Zentrum für Europäische Wirtschaftsforschung / Center for European Economic Research.
  7. Claudia M. Buch, 2012. "From the Stability Pact to ESM - What next?," IAW Discussion Papers 85, Institut für Angewandte Wirtschaftsforschung (IAW).

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