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Using a discontinuous grant rule to identify the effect of grants on local taxes and spending

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  • Dahlberg, Matz
  • Mörk, Eva
  • Rattsø, Jørn
  • Ågren, Hanna

Abstract

When investigating the effects of federal grants on the behavior of lower-level governments, it is hard to defend the handling of grants as an exogenous factor. Federal governments often set grants based on characteristics and performance of decentralized governments. In this paper we make use of a discontinuity in the Swedish grant system in order to estimate the causal effects of general intergovernmental grants on local spending and local tax rates. The formula for the distribution of funds is used as an exclusion restriction in an IV-estimation. We find evidence of crowding-in, where federal grants are shifted to more local spending, but not to reduced local tax rates.

Suggested Citation

  • Dahlberg, Matz & Mörk, Eva & Rattsø, Jørn & Ågren, Hanna, 2008. "Using a discontinuous grant rule to identify the effect of grants on local taxes and spending," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 92(12), pages 2320-2335, December.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:pubeco:v:92:y:2008:i:12:p:2320-2335
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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Liang, Che-Yuan, 2008. "Collective Lobbying in Politics: Theory and Empirical Evidence from Sweden," Working Paper Series 2008:2, Uppsala University, Department of Economics.
    2. Köppl–Turyna, Monika & Pitlik, Hans, 2018. "Do equalization payments affect subnational borrowing? Evidence from regression discontinuity," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 53(C), pages 84-108.
    3. David Card & David S. Lee & Zhuan Pei & Andrea Weber, 2015. "Inference on Causal Effects in a Generalized Regression Kink Design," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 83, pages 2453-2483, November.
    4. Heléne Lundqvist & Matz Dahlberg & Eva Mörk, 2014. "Stimulating Local Public Employment: Do General Grants Work?," American Economic Journal: Economic Policy, American Economic Association, vol. 6(1), pages 167-192, February.
    5. Eichler, Stefan & Hofmann, Michael, 2013. "Sovereign default risk and decentralization: Evidence for emerging markets," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 32(C), pages 113-134.
    6. Bracco, Emanuele & Lockwood, Ben & Porcelli, Francesco & Redoano, Michela, 2015. "Intergovernmental grants as signals and the alignment effect: Theory and evidence," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 123(C), pages 78-91.
    7. Jennes, Geert & Persyn, Damiaan, 2015. "The effect of political representation on the geographic distribution of income: Evidence using Belgian data," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 37(C), pages 178-194.
    8. repec:eee:wdevel:v:106:y:2018:i:c:p:173-186 is not listed on IDEAS
    9. Allers, Maarten A. & Vermeulen, Wouter, 2016. "Capitalization of equalizing grants and the flypaper effect," Regional Science and Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 58(C), pages 115-129.
    10. Dahlberg, Matz & Lundqvist, Heléne & Mörk, Eva, 2008. "Intergovernmental grants and bureaucratic power," Working Paper Series 2008:17, IFAU - Institute for Evaluation of Labour Market and Education Policy.
    11. James R. Hines Jr., 2010. "State Fiscal Policies and Transitory Income Fluctuations," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 41(2 (Fall)), pages 313-350.
    12. Javiera Bravo, 2013. "The Income Effect of Unconditional Grants: A Reduction in the Collection Effort of Municipalities," Documentos de Trabajo 437, Instituto de Economia. Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile..
    13. Jofre-Monseny, Jordi & Solé-Ollé, Albert, 2012. "Which communities should be afraid of mobility? The effects of agglomeration economies on the sensitivity of employment location to local taxes," Regional Science and Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 42(1-2), pages 257-268.
    14. Guo, Qingwang & Liu, Chang & Ma, Guangrong, 2016. "How large is the local fiscal multiplier? Evidence from Chinese counties," Journal of Comparative Economics, Elsevier, vol. 44(2), pages 343-352.
    15. repec:eee:spacre:v:16:y:2013:i:1:p:46-52 is not listed on IDEAS
    16. Jorge Martinez-Vazquez & Cristian Sepulveda, 2012. "Toward a More General Theory of Revenue Assignments," International Center for Public Policy Working Paper Series, at AYSPS, GSU paper1231, International Center for Public Policy, Andrew Young School of Policy Studies, Georgia State University.
    17. Masayoshi Hayashi & Yohei Kobayashi, 2010. "The Effects of Central Grants on Decentralized Social Programs: Post ]2005 School Expense Assistance in Japan," Global COE Hi-Stat Discussion Paper Series gd09-118, Institute of Economic Research, Hitotsubashi University.
    18. Sebastian Garmann, 2014. "The causal effect of coalition governments on fiscal policies: evidence from a Regression Kink Design," Applied Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 46(36), pages 4490-4507, December.
    19. repec:taf:rjapxx:v:22:y:2017:i:4:p:560-574 is not listed on IDEAS

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Fiscal federalism Grants Local taxation Local government expenditure Causal effects Discontinuity analysis;

    JEL classification:

    • H21 - Public Economics - - Taxation, Subsidies, and Revenue - - - Efficiency; Optimal Taxation
    • H71 - Public Economics - - State and Local Government; Intergovernmental Relations - - - State and Local Taxation, Subsidies, and Revenue
    • H77 - Public Economics - - State and Local Government; Intergovernmental Relations - - - Intergovernmental Relations; Federalism
    • R51 - Urban, Rural, Regional, Real Estate, and Transportation Economics - - Regional Government Analysis - - - Finance in Urban and Rural Economies

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