Overlapping soft budget constraints
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.
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- 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.
- Seitz, Helmut, 1999. "Subnational government bailouts in Germany," ZEI Working Papers B 20-1999, University of Bonn, ZEI - Center for European Integration Studies.
- Charles M. Tiebout, 1956. "A Pure Theory of Local Expenditures," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 64, pages 416.
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- János Kornai & Eric Maskin & Gérard Roland, 2003. "Understanding the Soft Budget Constraint," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 41(4), pages 1095-1136, December.
- 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, 05.
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- Wildasin, David E., 1997. "Externalities and bailouts : hard and soft budget constraints in intergovernmental fiscal relations," Policy Research Working Paper Series 1843, The World Bank.
- Timothy Goodspeed, 2002. "Bailouts in a Federation," International Tax and Public Finance, Springer;International Institute of Public Finance, vol. 9(4), pages 409-421, August.
- Akai, Nobuo & Sato, Motohiro, 2008. "Too big or too small? A synthetic view of the commitment problem of interregional transfers," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 64(3), pages 551-559, November.
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