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Overlapping soft budget constraints

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  • Breuillé, Marie-Laure
  • Vigneault, Marianne

Abstract

Our paper identifies a potential problem with decentralization at a time when its virtues are widely extolled. We show that responsibility for equalization at multi-levels within a decentralized federation creates an overlapping equalization policy that can worsen fiscal discipline. Contrary to Qian and Roland (1998), we also show in our set-up that fiscal competition among regional rescuers does not act as a commitment device to harden the local budget constraint.

Suggested Citation

  • Breuillé, Marie-Laure & Vigneault, Marianne, 2010. "Overlapping soft budget constraints," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 67(3), pages 259-269, May.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:juecon:v:67:y:2010:i:3:p:259-269
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    9. Kothenburger, Marko, 2004. "Tax competition in a fiscal union with decentralized leadership," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 55(3), pages 498-513, May.
    10. Buettner, Thiess & Wildasin, David E., 2006. "The dynamics of municipal fiscal adjustment," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 90(6-7), pages 1115-1132, August.
    11. Isabelle Joumard & Per Mathis Kongsrud, 2003. "Fiscal Relations across Government Levels," OECD Economic Studies, OECD Publishing, vol. 2003(1), pages 155-229.
    12. Weingast, Barry R., 2009. "Second generation fiscal federalism: The implications of fiscal incentives," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 65(3), pages 279-293, May.
    13. Nobuo Akai & Emilson Silva, 2009. "Interregional redistribution as a cure to the soft budget syndrome in federations," International Tax and Public Finance, Springer;International Institute of Public Finance, vol. 16(1), pages 43-58, February.
    14. Breuille, Marie-Laure & Madies, Thierry & Taugourdeau, Emmanuelle, 2006. "Does tax competition soften regional budget constraint?," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 90(2), pages 230-236, February.
    15. Martin Besfamille & Ben Lockwood, 2008. "Bailouts In Federations: Is A Hard Budget Constraint Always Best?," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 49(2), pages 577-593, May.
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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Foremny, Dirk & Solé-Ollé, Albert, 2016. "Who's coming to the rescue? Revenue-sharing slumps and implicit bailouts during the Great Recession," ZEW Discussion Papers 16-049, ZEW - Zentrum für Europäische Wirtschaftsforschung / Center for European Economic Research.
    2. Foremny, Dirk, 2014. "Sub-national deficits in European countries: The impact of fiscal rules and tax autonomy," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 34(C), pages 86-110.
    3. Baskaran, Thushyanthan, 2012. "Soft budget constraints and strategic interactions in subnational borrowing: Evidence from the German States, 1975–2005," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 71(1), pages 114-127.
    4. Foremny, Dirk, 2011. "Vertical aspects of sub-national deficits: the impact of fiscal rules and tax autonomy in European countries," MPRA Paper 32998, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    5. Boadway, Robin & Song, Zhen & Tremblay, Jean-François, 2013. "Non-cooperative pollution control in an inter-jurisdictional setting," Regional Science and Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 43(5), pages 783-796.
    6. Rosta, Miklós, 2015. "Introduction of soft budget constraint to analyze public administration reforms. Some evidence from the Hungarian public administration reform," MPRA Paper 68473, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    7. Emilson Silva, 2015. "Efficient earmarking under decentralized fiscal commitments," International Tax and Public Finance, Springer;International Institute of Public Finance, vol. 22(4), pages 683-701, August.
    8. Amélie Lecocq & Marcelin Joanis, 2013. "Au-delà des certitudes : Pouvoir gris, obésité et autres dimensions incertaines de l’impact budgétaire du vieillissement," Cahiers de recherche 13-08, Departement d'Economique de l'École de gestion à l'Université de Sherbrooke.
    9. Emilson Caputo Delfino Silva, 2017. "Tax competition and federal equalization schemes with decentralized leadership," International Tax and Public Finance, Springer;International Institute of Public Finance, vol. 24(1), pages 164-178, February.
    10. Timothy J. Goodspeed, 2017. "Bailouts and Soft Budget Constraints in Decentralized Government: A Synthesis and Survey of an Alternative View of Intergovernmental Grant Policy," Hacienda Pública Española, IEF, vol. 221(2), pages 113-134, June.
    11. Breuillé, Marie-Laure & Zanaj, Skerdilajda, 2013. "Mergers in fiscal federalism," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 105(C), pages 11-22.
    12. Breuillé, Marie-Laure & Madiès, Thierry & Taugourdeau, Emmanuelle, 2010. "Gross versus net equalization scheme in a federation with decentralized leadership," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 68(2), pages 205-214, September.
    13. Mario Jametti & Marcelin Joanis, 2014. "Elections and de facto Expenditure Decentralization in Canada," IdEP Economic Papers 1404, USI Università della Svizzera italiana.
    14. Thushyanthan Baskaran, 2013. "Do bailouts buy votes? Evidence from a panel of Hessian municipalities," Economics of Governance, Springer, vol. 14(3), pages 257-278, August.
    15. Rosella Levaggi & Francesco Menoncin, 2013. "Soft budget constraints in health care: evidence from Italy," The European Journal of Health Economics, Springer;Deutsche Gesellschaft für Gesundheitsökonomie (DGGÖ), vol. 14(5), pages 725-737, October.
    16. repec:spr:ecogov:v:18:y:2017:i:3:d:10.1007_s10101-017-0194-8 is not listed on IDEAS
    17. Baskaran, Thushyanthan, 2014. "Bailouts and austerity," Center for European, Governance and Economic Development Research Discussion Papers 212, University of Goettingen, Department of Economics.

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