IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/a/bla/ecopol/v22y2010i1p37-67.html
   My bibliography  Save this article

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

Author

Listed:
  • 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.

Suggested Citation

  • 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
    DOI: 10.1111/j.1468-0343.2009.00350.x
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1468-0343.2009.00350.x
    Download Restriction: no
    ---><---

    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Ramey, Garey & Ramey, Valerie A, 1995. "Cross-Country Evidence on the Link between Volatility and Growth," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 85(5), pages 1138-1151, December.
    2. Zvi Hercowitz & Michel Strawczynski, 2004. "Cyclical Ratcheting in Government Spending: Evidence from the OECD," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 86(1), pages 353-361, February.
    3. Ernesto Talvi & Carlos A. Vegh, 2000. "Tax Base Variability and Procyclical Fiscal Policy," NBER Working Papers 7499, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    4. von Hagen, Jürgen & Hepp, Ralf, 2000. "Regional risksharing and redistribution in the German federation," ZEI Working Papers B 15-2000, University of Bonn, ZEI - Center for European Integration Studies.
    5. Bent E. Sørensen & Oved Yosha, 1996. "Income and Consumption Smoothing among US States: Regions or Clubs?," Discussion Papers 96-13, University of Copenhagen. Department of Economics.
    6. Michael Gavin & Roberto Perotti, 1997. "Fiscal Policy in Latin America," NBER Chapters, in: NBER Macroeconomics Annual 1997, Volume 12, pages 11-72, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    7. Philippe Aghion & Ioana Marinescu, 2008. "Cyclical Budgetary Policy and Economic Growth: What Do We Learn from OECD Panel Data?," NBER Chapters, in: NBER Macroeconomics Annual 2007, Volume 22, pages 251-278, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    8. Xavier Sala-i-Martin & Jeffrey Sachs, 1991. "Fiscal Federalism and Optimum Currency Areas: Evidence for Europe From the United States," NBER Working Papers 3855, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    9. Joshua Aizenman & Michael Gavin & Ricardo Hausmann, 2001. "Optimal tax and debt policy with endogenously imperfect creditworthiness," The Journal of International Trade & Economic Development, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 9(4), pages 367-395.
    10. Velasco, Andres, 2000. "Debts and deficits with fragmented fiscal policymaking," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 76(1), pages 105-125, April.
    11. Bayoumi, Tamim & Masson, Paul R., 1995. "Fiscal flows in the United States and Canada: Lessons for monetary union in Europe," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 39(2), pages 253-274, February.
    12. Mark Hallerberg & Rolf Strauch, 2002. "On the Cyclicality of Public Finances in Europe," Empirica, Springer;Austrian Institute for Economic Research;Austrian Economic Association, vol. 29(3), pages 183-207, September.
    13. Canova, Fabio, 1998. "Detrending and business cycle facts: A user's guide," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 41(3), pages 533-540, May.
    14. Pierfederico Asdrubali & Bent E. Sørensen & Oved Yosha, 1996. "Channels of Interstate Risk Sharing: United States 1963–1990," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 111(4), pages 1081-1110.
    15. Canova, Fabio, 1998. "Detrending and business cycle facts," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 41(3), pages 475-512, May.
    16. van Wincoop, Eric, 1995. "Regional risksharing," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 39(8), pages 1545-1567, October.
    17. Kirsten H. Heppke‐Falk & Guntram B. Wolff, 2008. "Moral Hazard and Bail‐Out in Fiscal Federations: Evidence for the German Länder," Kyklos, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 61(3), pages 425-446, August.
    18. Paul van den Noord, 2000. "The Size and Role of Automatic Fiscal Stabilizers in the 1990s and Beyond," OECD Economics Department Working Papers 230, OECD Publishing.
    19. von Hagen, Jurgen, 1992. "Policy-Delegation and Fixed Exchange Rates," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 33(4), pages 849-870, November.
    20. Balassone, Fabrizio & Franco, Daniele & Zotteri, Stefania, 2003. "Fiscal rules for sub-national governments: what lessons from EMU countries?," Sede de la CEPAL en Santiago (Estudios e Investigaciones) 34926, Naciones Unidas Comisión Económica para América Latina y el Caribe (CEPAL).
    21. Melitz, Jacques & Zumer, Frédéric, 1998. "Regional Redistribution and Stabilization by the Centre in Canada, France, the United Kingdom and the United States: New Estimates Based on Panel Data Econometrics," CEPR Discussion Papers 1829, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    22. Jordi Gali & Roberto Perotti, 2003. "Fiscal Policy and Monetary Integration in Europe," NBER Working Papers 9773, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    23. Seitz, Helmut, 2000. "Fiscal Policy, Deficits and Politics of Subnational Governments: The Case of the German Laender," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 102(3-4), pages 183-218, March.
    24. repec:oup:ecpoli:v:13:y:1998:i:26:p:205-259 is not listed on IDEAS
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    Citations

    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.
    as


    Cited by:

    1. David Bartolini & Agnese Sacchi & Simone Salotti & Raffaella Santolini, 2018. "Fiscal Decentralization in Times of Financial Crises," CESifo Economic Studies, CESifo, vol. 64(3), pages 456-488.
    2. Jean-Louis COMBES & Mary-Françoise RENARD & Sampawende Jules TAPSOBA, 2015. "Provincial Public Expenditure in China: A Tale of Profligacy," Working Papers 201524, CERDI.
    3. Johannes Fleck & Chima Simpson-Bell, 2019. "Public Insurance in Heterogeneous Fiscal Federations: Evidence from American Households," 2019 Meeting Papers 296, Society for Economic Dynamics.
    4. Pablo Mejía-Reyes & Reyna Vergara-González, 2017. "Are More Severe Recessions Followed by Stronger Early Expansions of Employment in the Mexican States?," The Review of Regional Studies, Southern Regional Science Association, vol. 47(3), pages 243-269, Fall.
    5. Zareh Asatryan & Lars P. Feld & Benny Geys, 2015. "Partial Fiscal Decentralization and Sub-National Government Fiscal Discipline: Empirical Evidence from OECD Countries," CESifo Working Paper Series 5279, CESifo.
    6. 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.
    7. Ana GRDOVIĆ GNIP, 2015. "Empirical Assessment Of Stabilization Effects Of Fiscal Policy In Croatia," Journal for Economic Forecasting, Institute for Economic Forecasting, vol. 0(1), pages 47-69, March.
    8. Jean-Louis Combes & Mary-Françoise Renard & Sampawende J.-A. Tapsoba, 2019. "Provincial public expenditure in China: a tale of pro-cyclicality," Economic Change and Restructuring, Springer, vol. 52(1), pages 19-41, February.
    9. Feiveson, Laura, 2015. "General revenue sharing and public sector unions," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 125(C), pages 28-45.
    10. Xiang Luo & Xinhai Lu & Zuo Zhang & Yue Pan, 2020. "Regional differences and rural public expenditure cyclicality: evidence from transitory and persistent shocks in China," The Annals of Regional Science, Springer;Western Regional Science Association, vol. 65(2), pages 281-318, October.
    11. Behera, Deepak Kumar & Dash, Umakant, 2019. "Prioritization of government expenditure on health in India: A fiscal space perspective," Socio-Economic Planning Sciences, Elsevier, vol. 68(C).
    12. 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.
    13. 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.
    14. Doris Prammer & Lukas Reiss, 2018. "How to increase fiscal stabilization at the euro area level?," Monetary Policy & the Economy, Oesterreichische Nationalbank (Austrian Central Bank), issue Q2/18, pages 111-131.
    15. Hansjörg Blöchliger & Balázs Égert, 2017. "Intergovernmental Transfers: Are they pro- or counter-cyclical?," ECONOMIA PUBBLICA, FrancoAngeli Editore, vol. 2017(3), pages 5-20.
    16. Deepak Kumar Behera & Ranjan Kumar Mohanty & Umakant Dash, 2020. "Cyclicality of public health expenditure in India: role of fiscal transfer and domestic revenue mobilization," International Review of Economics, Springer;Happiness Economics and Interpersonal Relations (HEIRS), vol. 67(1), pages 87-110, March.
    17. 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.
    18. 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.
    19. Diana Ricciulli-Marín & Jaime Bonet-Morón & Gerson Javier Pérez-Valbuena, 2021. "Política fiscal subnacional y ciclos económicos en Colombia," Documentos de trabajo sobre Economía Regional y Urbana 295, Banco de la Republica de Colombia.
    20. 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.
    21. Ntokozo Patrick Nzimande & Harold Ngalawa, 2017. "The endogeneity of business cycle synchronisation in SADC: A GMM approach," Cogent Economics & Finance, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 5(1), pages 1358914-135, January.
    22. 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.
    23. Jing Xing & Clemens Fuest, 2018. "Central-local government fiscal relations and cyclicality of public spending: evidence from China," International Tax and Public Finance, Springer;International Institute of Public Finance, vol. 25(4), pages 946-980, August.

    Most related items

    These are the items that most often cite the same works as this one and are cited by the same works as this one.
    1. Martin Larch & João Nogueira Martins, 2007. "Fiscal indicators - Proceedings of the the Directorate-General for Economic and Financial Affairs Workshop held on 22 September 2006 in Brussels," European Economy - Economic Papers 2008 - 2015 297, Directorate General Economic and Financial Affairs (DG ECFIN), European Commission.
    2. António Afonso & Peter Claeys & Ricardo Sousa, 2011. "Fiscal regime shifts in Portugal," Portuguese Economic Journal, Springer;Instituto Superior de Economia e Gestao, vol. 10(2), pages 83-108, August.
    3. Melitz, Jacques & Zumer, Frederic, 1999. "Interregional and international risk-sharing and lessons for EMU," Carnegie-Rochester Conference Series on Public Policy, Elsevier, vol. 51(1), pages 149-188, December.
    4. Stefano Athanasoulis & Eric Van Wincoop, 1998. "Risksharing within the United States: what have financial markets and fiscal federalism accomplished?," Research Paper 9808, Federal Reserve Bank of New York.
    5. Ralf Hepp & Jürgen von Hagen, 2012. "Fiscal Federalism in Germany: Stabilization and Redistribution Before and After Unification," Publius: The Journal of Federalism, Oxford University Press, vol. 42(2), pages 234-259, April.
    6. Ana Lamo & Javier J. P鲥z & Ludger Schuknecht, 2013. "The cyclicality of consumption, wages and employment of the public sector in the euro area," Applied Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 45(12), pages 1551-1569, April.
    7. António Afonso & Luca Agnello & Davide Furceri, 2010. "Fiscal policy responsiveness, persistence, and discretion," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 145(3), pages 503-530, December.
    8. Christos Koulovatianos & Leonard J. Mirman, 2004. "Endogenous Public Policy and Long-Run Growth," University of Cyprus Working Papers in Economics 2-2004, University of Cyprus Department of Economics.
    9. João T. Jalles, 2020. "Explaining Africa's public consumption procyclicality: Revisiting old evidence," International Finance, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 23(2), pages 297-323, August.
    10. Christos Koulovatianos & Leonard J. Mirman, 2005. "Endogenous Public Policy and Long-Run Growth: Some Simple Analytics," Vienna Economics Papers 0502, University of Vienna, Department of Economics.
    11. Jan Zápal, 2007. "Cyclical Bias in Government Spending: Evidence from New EU Member Countries," Working Papers IES 2007/15, Charles University Prague, Faculty of Social Sciences, Institute of Economic Studies, revised May 2007.
    12. Karin Mayr & Johann Scharler, 2009. "Asymmetric Fiscal Stabilization Policy and the Public Deficit: Theory and Evidence," Vienna Economics Papers 0908, University of Vienna, Department of Economics.
    13. Bozhechkova, A. & Mamedov, A. & Sinelnikov-Murylev, S. & Turuntseva, M., 2018. "Stabilization Properties of Federal Fiscal Transfers to Russian Regions," Journal of the New Economic Association, New Economic Association, vol. 40(4), pages 61-83.
    14. Jalles, João Tovar, 2020. "The volatility impact of social expenditure’s cyclicality in advanced economies," Economic Analysis and Policy, Elsevier, vol. 66(C), pages 26-40.
    15. Beetsma, Roel & Cima, Simone & Cimadomo, Jacopo, 2018. "A minimal moral hazard central stabilisation capacity for the EMU based on world trade," CEPR Discussion Papers 12600, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    16. Dolls, Mathias & Fuest, Clemens & Peichl, Andreas, 2012. "Automatic stabilizers and economic crisis: US vs. Europe," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 96(3), pages 279-294.
    17. Reicher, Claire, 2014. "Systematic fiscal policy and macroeconomic performance: A critical overview of the literature," Economics - The Open-Access, Open-Assessment E-Journal, Kiel Institute for the World Economy (IfW), vol. 8, pages 1-37.
    18. Markus Brueckner & Francisco Carneiro, 2017. "Terms of trade volatility, government spending cyclicality, and economic growth," Review of International Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 25(5), pages 975-989, November.
    19. Ardanaz, Martín & Izquierdo, Alejandro, 2018. "Current Expenditure Upswings in Good Times and Capital Expenditure Downswings in Bad Times?: New Evidence from Developing Countries," IDB Publications (Working Papers) 8558, Inter-American Development Bank.
    20. Ugo Panizza & Dany Jaimovich, 2007. "Procyclicality or Reverse Causality?," Research Department Publications 4508, Inter-American Development Bank, Research Department.

    More about this item

    Statistics

    Access and download statistics

    Corrections

    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:bla:ecopol:v:22:y:2010:i:1:p:37-67. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Wiley Content Delivery). General contact details of provider: http://www.blackwellpublishing.com/journal.asp?ref=0954-1985 .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If CitEc recognized a reference but did not link an item in RePEc to it, you can help with this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.