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Fiscal Decentralization And The Business Cycle: An Empirical Study Of Seven Federations

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  • JONATHAN RODDEN
  • ERIK WIBBELS

Abstract

Although fiscal policies of central governments sometimes provide modest insurance against regional income shocks, this paper shows that procyclical fiscal policy among provincial governments can easily overwhelm these stabilizing effects. We examine the cyclicality of budget items among provincial governments in seven federations, showing that own-source taxes are generally highly procyclical, and contrary to common wisdom, revenue sharing and discretionary transfers are either acyclical or procyclical. Constituent governments are thus left alone to smooth their own shocks, and we document the extent to which various restraints on borrowing and saving undermine their ability to do so. The resulting procyclicality of provincial fiscal policy is likely to have important implications in a world where demands for countercyclical fiscal policy are increasing but considerable fiscal responsibilities are being devolved to subnational governments. Copyright 2009 Blackwell Publishing Ltd.

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  • Jonathan Rodden & Erik Wibbels, 2010. "Fiscal Decentralization And The Business Cycle: An Empirical Study Of Seven Federations," Economics and Politics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 22(1), pages 37-67, March.
  • Handle: RePEc:bla:ecopol:v:22:y:2010:i:1:p:37-67
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    Cited by:

    1. Jean-Louis COMBES & Mary-Françoise RENARD & Sampawende Jules TAPSOBA, 2015. "Provincial Public Expenditure in China: A Tale of Profligacy," Working Papers 201524, CERDI.
    2. repec:rre:publsh:v47:y:2017:i:3:p:243-269 is not listed on IDEAS
    3. Zareh Asatryan & Lars Feld & Benny Geys, 2015. "Partial fiscal decentralization and sub-national government fiscal discipline: empirical evidence from OECD countries," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 163(3), pages 307-320, June.
    4. David Bartolini & Agnese Sacchi & Simone Salotti & Raffaella Santolini, 2015. "Fiscal decentralisation in times of financial crises," Working Papers. Collection A: Public economics, governance and decentralization 1506, Universidade de Vigo, GEN - Governance and Economics research Network.
    5. Sacchi, Agnese & Salotti, Simone, 2015. "The impact of national fiscal rules on the stabilisation function of fiscal policy," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 37(C), pages 1-20.
    6. Feiveson, Laura, 2015. "General revenue sharing and public sector unions," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 125(C), pages 28-45.
    7. Raffaele Lagravinese & Paolo Liberati & Agnese Sacchi, 2016. "The growth and variability of local taxes: An application to the Italian regions," Working Papers. Collection B: Regional and sectoral economics 1601, Universidade de Vigo, GEN - Governance and Economics research Network.
    8. Cristina Arellano & Andrew Atkeson & Mark Wright, 2016. "External and Public Debt Crises," NBER Macroeconomics Annual, University of Chicago Press, vol. 30(1), pages 191-244.
    9. repec:onb:oenbmp:y:2018:i:q2/18:b:6 is not listed on IDEAS
    10. Michele Cincera & Antonio Estache & Wolf Alexander, 2012. "Would Less Fiscal Decentralization Reduce Public Sector Size across Sectors in Europe ?," Working Papers ECARES ECARES 2012-028, ULB -- Universite Libre de Bruxelles.
    11. Fabio Wasserfallen, 2014. "Political and Economic Integration in the EU: The Case of Failed Tax Harmonization," Journal of Common Market Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 52(2), pages 420-435, March.
    12. repec:taf:oaefxx:v:5:y:2017:i:1:p:1358914 is not listed on IDEAS
    13. Guillaume Bousquet & Christian Daude & Christine de la Maisonneuve, 2015. "Fiscal Decentralisation in Colombia: New Evidence Regarding Sustainability, Risk Sharing and “Fiscal Fatigue”," OECD Economics Department Working Papers 1202, OECD Publishing.
    14. repec:kap:itaxpf:v:25:y:2018:i:4:d:10.1007_s10797-017-9478-8 is not listed on IDEAS

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