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Political fragmentation and projected tax revenues: evidence from Flemish municipalities

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  • Stijn Goeminne

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  • Benny Geys

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  • Carine Smolders

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Abstract

The level of revenues pocketed by a government during the fiscal year often deviates from that projected by this government in its budget. Despite a flourishing literature on, for example, the technical or procedural determinants of such forecast errors, little is yet known about how political stratagems may affect forecast errors. In the present paper, we analyse whether differences in the level of government fragmentation are useful in explaining local government tax revenue forecast errors – controlling for various other factors. Using data on 242 Flemish municipalities for the period 1992-2002, we find that two-party governments are more optimistic than single-party governments. In contrast to our initial expectations, governments with at least three parties are significantly more careful (or less optimistic) in their revenue projections than single- or twoparty governments.
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  • Stijn Goeminne & Benny Geys & Carine Smolders, 2008. "Political fragmentation and projected tax revenues: evidence from Flemish municipalities," International Tax and Public Finance, Springer;International Institute of Public Finance, vol. 15(3), pages 297-315, June.
  • Handle: RePEc:kap:itaxpf:v:15:y:2008:i:3:p:297-315
    DOI: 10.1007/s10797-007-9021-4
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    Cited by:

    1. Reiner Eichenberger & David Stadelmann, 2009. "Consequences of Debt Capitalization: Property Ownership and Debt/Tax Choice," CREMA Working Paper Series 2009-08, Center for Research in Economics, Management and the Arts (CREMA).
    2. Benny Geys & Federico Revelli, 2011. "Economic and political foundations of local tax structures: an empirical investigation of the tax mix of Flemish municipalities," Environment and Planning C: Government and Policy, Pion Ltd, London, vol. 29(3), pages 410-427, June.
    3. repec:mhr:finarc:urn:sici:0015-2218(201706)73:2_213:mffeft_2.0.tx_2-2 is not listed on IDEAS
    4. Kristien Werck & Bruno Heyndels & Benny Geys, 2008. "The impact of ‘central places’ on spatial spending patterns: evidence from Flemish local government cultural expenditures," Journal of Cultural Economics, Springer;The Association for Cultural Economics International, vol. 32(1), pages 35-58, March.
    5. Chatagny, Florian, 2015. "Incentive effects of fiscal rules on the finance minister's behavior: Evidence from revenue projections in Swiss Cantons," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 39(C), pages 184-200.
    6. Geys Benny & Revelli Federico, 2009. "Decentralization, competition and the local tax mix: Evidence from Flanders," Department of Economics and Statistics Cognetti de Martiis. Working Papers 200902, University of Turin.
    7. Geys, Benny, 2006. "Looking across borders: A test of spatial policy interdependence using local government efficiency ratings," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 60(3), pages 443-462, November.
    8. J Stephen Ferris & Stanley L. Winer & Bernard Grofman, 2016. "The Duverger-Demsetz Perspective on Electoral Competitiveness and Fragmentation: With Application to the Canadian Parliamentary System, 1867-2011," CESifo Working Paper Series 5752, CESifo Group Munich.
    9. Cabaleiro Casal, Roberto & Buch Gómez, Enrique J. & Vaamonde Liste, Antonio, 2014. "Financial Situation And Political Parties In Local Governments: Empirical Evidence In The Spanish Municipalities / Situación Financiera Y Partidos Políticos En Los Gobiernos Locales: Evidencia Empíric," Investigaciones Europeas de Dirección y Economía de la Empresa (IEDEE), Academia Europea de Dirección y Economía de la Empresa (AEDEM), vol. 20(3), pages 110-121.
    10. Beate Jochimsen & Robert Lehmann, 2017. "On the political economy of national tax revenue forecasts: evidence from OECD countries," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 170(3), pages 211-230, March.
    11. Raymond (R.H.J.M.) Gradus & Elbert (E.) Dijkgraaf, 2017. "Dutch Municipalities are Becoming Greener: Some Political and Institutional Explanations," Tinbergen Institute Discussion Papers 17-086/VIII, Tinbergen Institute.
    12. B. Buylen & J. Christiaens, 2012. "Why do some party leaders in Flemish municipal councils get more acquainted with New Public Management principles than others ? An investigation into the impact of their individual characteristics," Working Papers of Faculty of Economics and Business Administration, Ghent University, Belgium 12/821, Ghent University, Faculty of Economics and Business Administration.
    13. Florian Chatagny & Nils Soguel, 2012. "The effect of tax revenue budgeting errors on fiscal balance: evidence from the Swiss cantons," International Tax and Public Finance, Springer;International Institute of Public Finance, vol. 19(3), pages 319-337, June.
    14. Björn Kauder & Niklas Potrafke & Christoph Schinke, 2017. "Manipulating Fiscal Forecasts: Evidence from the German States," FinanzArchiv: Public Finance Analysis, Mohr Siebeck, Tübingen, vol. 73(2), pages 213-236, June.
    15. B. Buylen & J. Christiaens, 2013. "Politics by numbers? An exploration of councillors’ apparent use of financial information during the budget discussion in Flemish municipal councils," Working Papers of Faculty of Economics and Business Administration, Ghent University, Belgium 13/841, Ghent University, Faculty of Economics and Business Administration.
    16. Cuadrado-Ballesteros, Beatriz & García-Sánchez, Isabel-María & Prado-Lorenzo, José-Manuel, 2013. "Effect of modes of public services delivery on the efficiency of local governments: A two-stage approach," Utilities Policy, Elsevier, vol. 26(C), pages 23-35.
    17. Simon Luechinger & Christoph Schaltegger, 2013. "Fiscal rules, budget deficits and budget projections," International Tax and Public Finance, Springer;International Institute of Public Finance, vol. 20(5), pages 785-807, October.
    18. Goeminne Stijn & Smolders Carine, 2010. "Strategic Use of Debt in Flemish Municipalities," The B.E. Journal of Economic Analysis & Policy, De Gruyter, vol. 10(1), pages 1-31, July.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Revenue projections; Forecast accuracy; Local taxation; Flemish municipalities; Government fragmentation; D72; H72; H79;

    JEL classification:

    • D72 - Microeconomics - - Analysis of Collective Decision-Making - - - Political Processes: Rent-seeking, Lobbying, Elections, Legislatures, and Voting Behavior
    • H72 - Public Economics - - State and Local Government; Intergovernmental Relations - - - State and Local Budget and Expenditures
    • H79 - Public Economics - - State and Local Government; Intergovernmental Relations - - - Other

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