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Is It Is Or Is It Ain'T My Obligation? Regional Debt In A Fiscal Federation

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  • Russell Cooper
  • Hubert Kempf
  • Dan Peled

Abstract

This article studies the repayment of regional debt in a multiregion economy with a central authority: Who pays the obligation issued by a region? With commitment, the central government will use its economy-wide taxation power in support of its objective to smooth distortionary taxes and consumption across regions. Absent commitment, this tool of the central government may be exploited to induce it to bail out regional government deficits. We characterize the conditions under which bailouts occur and their welfare implications. In particular, we show when the gains from a federation may outweigh the welfare costs of a bailout. We use these insights to comment on actual fiscal relations in three quite different federations: the United States, the European Union, and Argentina. Copyright © (2008) by the Economics Department of the University of Pennsylvania and the Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association.

Suggested Citation

  • Russell Cooper & Hubert Kempf & Dan Peled, 2008. "Is It Is Or Is It Ain'T My Obligation? Regional Debt In A Fiscal Federation," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 49(4), pages 1469-1504, November.
  • Handle: RePEc:ier:iecrev:v:49:y:2008:i:4:p:1469-1504
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    4. Chari, V.V. & Kehoe, Patrick J., 2007. "On the need for fiscal constraints in a monetary union," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 54(8), pages 2399-2408, November.
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    Cited by:

    1. Friederike Niepmann & Tim Schmidt-Eisenlohr, 2013. "Bank Bailouts, International Linkages, and Cooperation," American Economic Journal: Economic Policy, American Economic Association, vol. 5(4), pages 270-305, November.
    2. Russell Cooper & Hubert Kempf, 2016. "Deposit insurance and bank liquidation without commitment: Can we sleep well?," Economic Theory, Springer;Society for the Advancement of Economic Theory (SAET), vol. 61(2), pages 365-392, February.
    3. Azzimonti, Marina & de Francisco, Eva & Quadrini, Vincenzo, 2012. "Financial Globalization, Inequality, and the Raising of Public Debt," CEPR Discussion Papers 8893, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    4. Régis Breton & Mariana Rojas Breu & Vincent Bignon, 2013. "Monetary Union, Banks and Financial Integration," Post-Print hal-01685888, HAL.
    5. Russell Cooper & Kalin Nikolov, 2018. "Government Debt And Banking Fragility: The Spreading Of Strategic Uncertainty," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 59(4), pages 1905-1925, November.
    6. Cooper, Russell & Kempf, Hubert & Peled, Dan, 2010. "Regional debt in monetary unions: Is it inflationary?," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 54(3), pages 345-358, April.
    7. Russell Cooper & Hubert Kempf & Dan Peled, 2009. "Insulation Impossible: Fiscal Spillovers in a Monetary Union," NBER Working Papers 15176, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    8. Bignon, V. & Breton, R. & Rojas Breu, M., 2013. "Currency Union with and without Banking Union," Working papers 450, Banque de France.
    9. Jerome Creel & Etienne Farvaque, 2009. "The political economy of balanced-budget rules," Documents de Travail de l'OFCE 2009-06, Observatoire Francais des Conjonctures Economiques (OFCE).
    10. E. Mengus, 2014. "International Bailouts: Why Did Banks' Collective Bet Lead Europe to Rescue Greece?," Working papers 502, Banque de France.
    11. Nadjeschda Arnold & Ray Rees, 2015. "The Sovereign Default Problem in the Eurozone: An Insurance-Based Approach," CESifo Working Paper Series 5389, CESifo.
    12. Russell Cooper, 2012. "Debt Fragility and Bailouts," NBER Working Papers 18377, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    13. Todd Keister & Vijay Narasiman, 2016. "Expectations vs. Fundamentals- driven Bank Runs: When Should Bailouts be Permitted?," Review of Economic Dynamics, Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics, vol. 21, pages 89-104, July.
    14. Thushyanthan Baskaran & Zohal Hessami, 2017. "Monetary integration, soft budget constraints, and the EMU sovereign debt crises," Economics and Politics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 29(3), pages 252-275, November.
    15. Calin Arcalean, 2017. "International Tax Competition And The Deficit Bias," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 55(1), pages 51-72, January.
    16. Russell Cooper & Hubert Kempf, 2013. "Deposit Insurance and Orderly Liquidation without Commitment: Can we Sleep Well?," NBER Working Papers 19132, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    17. Nadjeschda Katharina Arnold, 2016. "Das Problem der Staatspleiten in der Eurozone: Warum beschränkte Haftung zu exzessiver Staatsverschuldung führte und wie eine Versicherung dem entgegenwirken kann," ifo Beiträge zur Wirtschaftsforschung, ifo Institute - Leibniz Institute for Economic Research at the University of Munich, number 66, December.
    18. Peter Spahn, 2016. "Central Bank Design in a Non-optimal Currency Union A Lender of Last Resort for Government Debt?," ROME Working Papers 201610, ROME Network.
    19. Mark P. Jones & Osvaldo Meloni & Mariano Tommasi, 2012. "Voters as Fiscal Liberals: Incentives and Accountability in Federal Systems," Economics and Politics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 24(2), pages 135-156, July.
    20. Si Guo & Yun Pei & Zoe Xie, 2018. "Fiscal Decentralization, Intergovernmental Transfer, and Overborrowing," 2018 Meeting Papers 975, Society for Economic Dynamics.
    21. Cooper, R. & Kempf, H. & Peled, D., 2009. "Monetary rules and the spillover of regional fiscal policies in a federation," Working papers 233, Banque de France.
    22. Paczos, Wojtek; Shakhnov, Kirill, 2016. "Sovereign Debt Issuance and Selective Default," Economics Working Papers ECO2016/04, European University Institute.
    23. Si Guo & Yun Pei & Zoe Xie, 2018. "Decentralization and Overborrowing in a Fiscal Federation," FRB Atlanta Working Paper 2018-9, Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta.
    24. Calin Arcaelan, 2015. "International Tax Competition and the Deficit Bias," CESifo Working Paper Series 5627, CESifo.
    25. Josef Schroth, 2015. "Risk Sharing in the Presence of a Public Good," Staff Working Papers 15-27, Bank of Canada.

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    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • E6 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Macroeconomic Policy, Macroeconomic Aspects of Public Finance, and General Outlook
    • F4 - International Economics - - Macroeconomic Aspects of International Trade and Finance
    • R5 - Urban, Rural, Regional, Real Estate, and Transportation Economics - - Regional Government Analysis

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