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Does fiscal oversight matter?

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  • Christofzik, Désirée I.
  • Kessing, Sebastian G.

Abstract

A gradually introduced reform of local government accounting made it temporarily possible for municipalities in the German state of North Rhine-Westphalia to avoid the effective control of their budget by the authorities in charge of overseeing local government budgets and enforcing the existing fiscal rules. Using this withdrawal of effective fiscal oversight, we identify the effects of fiscal restraints and their enforcement on fiscal outcomes. We find that the withdrawal of oversight has a significant and sizable effect on per capita debt of local governments that were previously constrained by fiscal oversight. Fiscal restraints are important, and oversight and enforcement are key requirements for their success.

Suggested Citation

  • Christofzik, Désirée I. & Kessing, Sebastian G., 2018. "Does fiscal oversight matter?," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 105(C), pages 70-87.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:juecon:v:105:y:2018:i:c:p:70-87
    DOI: 10.1016/j.jue.2018.03.002
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    Cited by:

    1. Borck, Rainald & Fossen, Frank M. & Freier, Ronny & Martin, Thorsten, 2015. "Race to the debt trap? — Spatial econometric evidence on debt in German municipalities," Regional Science and Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 53(C), pages 20-37.
    2. Felix Rösel, 2017. "The Political Economy of Fiscal Supervision and Budget Deficits: Evidence from Germany," Fiscal Studies, Institute for Fiscal Studies, vol. 38, pages 641-666, December.
    3. Paolo Chiades & Luciano Greco & Vanni Mengotto & Luigi Moretti & Paola Valbonesi, 2016. "Intergovernmental transfers and expenditure arrears," Working Papers hal-01442684, HAL.
    4. repec:kap:itaxpf:v:26:y:2019:i:2:d:10.1007_s10797-018-9496-1 is not listed on IDEAS
    5. Florian Dorn & Stefanie Gäbler & Felix Rösel, 2019. "Ineffective Fiscal Rules? The Effect of Public Sector Accounting Standards on Budgets, Efficiency, and Accountability," ifo Working Paper Series 312, ifo Institute - Leibniz Institute for Economic Research at the University of Munich.
    6. Dilla, Diana, 2017. "Staatsverschuldung und Verschuldungsmentalität
      [Public Debt and Debt Mentality]
      ," MPRA Paper 79432, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    7. repec:zbw:svrwjg:201718 is not listed on IDEAS
    8. repec:ris:utmsje:0258 is not listed on IDEAS
    9. repec:eee:poleco:v:51:y:2018:i:c:p:69-92 is not listed on IDEAS
    10. Heinemann, Friedrich & Moessinger, Marc-Daniel & Yeter, Mustafa, 2018. "Do fiscal rules constrain fiscal policy? A meta-regression-analysis," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 51(C), pages 69-92.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Fiscal oversight; Fiscal rules; Local government debt;

    JEL classification:

    • H72 - Public Economics - - State and Local Government; Intergovernmental Relations - - - State and Local Budget and Expenditures
    • H74 - Public Economics - - State and Local Government; Intergovernmental Relations - - - State and Local Borrowing
    • R50 - Urban, Rural, Regional, Real Estate, and Transportation Economics - - Regional Government Analysis - - - General

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