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Fiskalische Effekte der Kommunalverfassungsreformen der 1990er Jahre in Deutschland / Reforming Local Constitutions in Germany during the 1990s – Their Fiscal Effects

Listed author(s):
  • Blume Lorenz

    ()

    (Fachbereich Wirtschaftswissenschaften, Universita¨ t Kassel, Nora-Platiel-Str. 4–6, 34109 Kassel, Germany)

  • Döring Thomas

    ()

    (Professur für Volkswirtschaftslehre mit Schwerpunkt öffentliche Finanzwirtschaft, Studienbereich Wirtschaft, Fachhochschule Kärnten, Europastraße 4, 9524 Villach, Austria)

  • Voigt Stefan

    ()

    (Lehrstuhl für Ordnungsökonomik und Internationale Wirtschaftsbeziehungen, Fachbereich Wirtschaftswissenschaften, Philipps-Universität Marburg, Barfüßertor 2, 35032 Marburg, Germany)

Most German states changed their local constitutions during the 1990s in order to become more citizen-friendly. To reach that goal, many local constitutions now allow for the direct election of mayors, initiatives and referenda, and vote-aggregation as well as vote-splitting. Simultaneously, the five-percent threshold was abolished lowering entry barriers. This contribution asks whether these reforms had any effects on local fiscal policies. Based on the reforms that took place in Schleswig-Holstein, Bavaria and Hesse and drawing on a structural break test it is shown that the direct election of mayors has led to lower government spending. The introduction of direct democratic elements, on the other hand, has led to higher expenditures. The empirical results concerning direct democracy substantially deviate from the findings regarding both Switzerland and the U.S.. It is argued that the difference might be due to the lack of fiscal referenda in Germany.

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Article provided by De Gruyter in its journal Journal of Economics and Statistics (Jahrbuecher fuer Nationaloekonomie und Statistik).

Volume (Year): 228 (2008)
Issue (Month): 4 (August)
Pages: 317-344

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Handle: RePEc:jns:jbstat:v:228:y:2008:i:4:p:317-344
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