IDEAS home Printed from
MyIDEAS: Log in (now much improved!) to save this article

The Status of the Budget Constraint, Federalism and the Relative Size of Government: A Bureaucracy Approach

Listed author(s):
  • Moesen, Wim
  • van Cauwenberge, Philippe

We develop a model along the lines of Niskanen, articulating that under a soft government budget constraint the full production cost of the public good is not reflected in the tax price as perceived by the consumer-taxpayer-voter. Various proportions of non-tax financing and different degrees of voter myopia with respect to discounting the future tax liabilities are taken into account. It can be shown that both the actual level of public output and the amount of slack resources are lower under a hard budget constraint than under a soft budget regime. Lower levels of government typically operate under a hard budget constraint when compared with the federal level since they have only limited (public) borrowing opportunities and no access to money creation (seignorage). In a federalist setting more government decisions are taken under a hard budget constraint than in a unitary state. Hence one would expect that the overall size of government is relatively smaller in a structure with fiscal federalism. An empirical test for 19 OECD-countries (1990-92) seems to support this hypothesis. Copyright 2000 by Kluwer Academic Publishers

If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.

File URL:
File Function: link to full text
Download Restriction: Access to full text is restricted to subscribers.

As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to look for a different version under "Related research" (further below) or search for a different version of it.

Article provided by Springer in its journal Public Choice.

Volume (Year): 104 (2000)
Issue (Month): 3-4 (September)
Pages: 207-224

in new window

Handle: RePEc:kap:pubcho:v:104:y:2000:i:3-4:p:207-24
Contact details of provider: Web page:

Order Information: Web:

No references listed on IDEAS
You can help add them by filling out this form.

This item is not listed on Wikipedia, on a reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.

When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:kap:pubcho:v:104:y:2000:i:3-4:p:207-24. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Sonal Shukla)

or (Rebekah McClure)

If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.

If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.

If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

This information is provided to you by IDEAS at the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis using RePEc data.