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Debt Bailouts And Constitutions




"A demand-based theory of subnational debt bailouts is presented. It is shown that demand for bailouts among politicians with regional constituencies is affected by revenue sharing arrangements as a bailout implies a shift of taxation toward the federal tier. Automatic revenue sharing may lead to the formation of pro-bailout coalitions formed by indebted states and states that are net recipients of the revenue sharing arrangement. The model shows that the state debt bailouts approved by the Brazilian Senate prior to the enactment of the Fiscal Responsibility Act were consistent with politicians who maximize the proceeds accruing to their constituencies. "("JEL "H70, D70) Copyright (c) 2007 Western Economic Association International.

Suggested Citation

  • Emanuel Kohlscheen, 2008. "Debt Bailouts And Constitutions," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 46(3), pages 480-492, July.
  • Handle: RePEc:bla:ecinqu:v:46:y:2008:i:3:p:480-492

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Qian, Yingyi & Roland, Gerard, 1998. "Federalism and the Soft Budget Constraint," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 88(5), pages 1143-1162, December.
    2. Robin W. Boadway & Frank R. Flatters, 1982. "Efficiency and Equalization Payments in a Federal System of Government: A Synthesis and Extension of Recent Results," Canadian Journal of Economics, Canadian Economics Association, vol. 15(4), pages 613-633, November.
    3. Dixit, Avinash & Londregan, John, 1998. "Fiscal federalism and redistributive politics," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 68(2), pages 153-180, May.
    4. Inman, Robert P. & Rubinfeld, Daniel L., 1996. "Designing tax policy in federalist economies: An overview," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 60(3), pages 307-334, June.
    5. J. Kornai & E. Maskin & G. Roland., 2004. "Understanding the Soft Budget Constraint," VOPROSY ECONOMIKI, N.P. Redaktsiya zhurnala "Voprosy Economiki", vol. 12.
    6. Thomas Aronsson & Magnus Wikstrom, 2003. "Optimal taxation and risk-sharing arrangements in an economic federation," Oxford Economic Papers, Oxford University Press, vol. 55(1), pages 104-120, January.
    7. Persson, Torsten & Tabellini, Guido, 1996. "Federal Fiscal Constitutions: Risk Sharing and Moral Hazard," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 64(3), pages 623-646, May.
    8. James M. Poterba & Jürgen von Hagen, 1999. "Fiscal Institutions and Fiscal Performance," NBER Books, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc, number pote99-1, January.
    9. Seitz, Helmut, 1999. "Subnational government bailouts in Germany," ZEI Working Papers B 20-1999, University of Bonn, ZEI - Center for European Integration Studies.
    10. Sanguinetti, Pablo & Tommasi, Mariano, 2004. "Intergovernmental transfers and fiscal behavior insurance versus aggregate discipline," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 62(1), pages 149-170, January.
    11. Thomas Courchene, 1999. "Subnational Budgetary and Stabilization Policies in Canada and Australia," NBER Chapters,in: Fiscal Institutions and Fiscal Performance, pages 301-348 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    12. James M. Poterba & Jürgen von Hagen, 1999. "Introduction to "Fiscal Institutions and Fiscal Performance"," NBER Chapters,in: Fiscal Institutions and Fiscal Performance, pages 1-12 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    13. Bucovetsky, Sam, 1998. "Federalism, equalization and risk aversion," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 67(3), pages 301-328, March.
    14. Persson, Torsten & Tabellini, Guido, 1996. "Federal Fiscal Constitutions: Risk Sharing and Redistribution," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 104(5), pages 979-1009, October.
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    Cited by:

    1. Eichler, Stefan & Hofmann, Michael, 2013. "Sovereign default risk and decentralization: Evidence for emerging markets," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 32(C), pages 113-134.

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    JEL classification:

    • H70 - Public Economics - - State and Local Government; Intergovernmental Relations - - - General


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