Fiscal federalism and the composition of public investment in Europe
We analyse the determinants of the composition of public investment in Europe, with a special focus on the role of fiscal decentralisation. The results suggest that fiscal decentralisation boosts economically productive public investment, notably infrastructure, and curbs the relative share of economically less productive investment, such as recreational facilities. While not readily reconcilable with the traditional theory of fiscal federalism, these findings can be interpreted in terms of the literature on fiscal competition, with not only tax rates but also the quality of public expenditure weighing in firms' location decisions.
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