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Myopic or Constrained by Balanced-Budget Rules? The Intertemporal Spending Behavior of Norwegian Local Governments

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  • Lars-Erik Borge
  • Per Tovmo

Abstract

The paper analyzes the intertemporal spending behavior of Norwegian local governments with particular attention to liquidity constraints imposed by balanced-budget rules. The main findings are: (i) On average, local government spending behavior is neither perfectly forward looking nor fully myopic. (ii) Local governments with good fiscal conditions behave more forward looking than other local governments. (iii) A high degree of party fragmentation is associated with less forward-looking behavior. The overall assessment is that the departure from rational forward-looking behavior reflects both liquidity constraints imposed by balanced-budget rules and myopic behavior.

Suggested Citation

  • Lars-Erik Borge & Per Tovmo, 2009. "Myopic or Constrained by Balanced-Budget Rules? The Intertemporal Spending Behavior of Norwegian Local Governments," FinanzArchiv: Public Finance Analysis, Mohr Siebeck, Tübingen, vol. 65(2), pages 200-219, June.
  • Handle: RePEc:mhr:finarc:urn:sici:0015-2218(200906)65:2_200:mocbbr_2.0.tx_2-
    DOI: 10.1628/001522109X466518
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Borge, Lars-Erik & Rattso, Jorn, 1995. "Demographic shift, relative costs and the allocation of local public consumption in Norway," Regional Science and Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 25(6), pages 705-726, December.
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    6. Holtz-Eakin Douglas & Rosen Harvey S. & Tilly Schuyler, 1994. "Intertemporal Analysis of State and Local Government Spending: Theory and Tests," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 35(2), pages 159-174, March.
    7. Tullio Jappelli & Jörn-Steffen Pischke & Nicholas S. Souleles, 1998. "Testing For Liquidity Constraints In Euler Equations With Complementary Data Sources," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 80(2), pages 251-262, May.
    8. Nouriel Roubini & Jeffrey Sachs, 1988. "Political and Economic Determinants of Budget Deficits in the IndustrialDemocracies," NBER Working Papers 2682, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    9. Holtz-Eakin, Douglas & Rosen, Harvey S., 1989. "The `rationality' of municipal capital spending : Evidence from New Jersey," Regional Science and Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 19(3), pages 517-536, August.
    10. Shea, John, 1995. "Union Contracts and the Life-Cycle/Permanent-Income Hypothesis," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 85(1), pages 186-200, March.
    11. Douglas Holtz-Eakin & Harvey S. Rosen, 1993. "Municipal Construction Spending: An Empirical Examination," Economics and Politics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 5(1), pages 61-84, March.
    12. Holtz-Eakin, Douglas & Rosen, Harvey S, 1991. "Municipal Labor Demand in the Presence of Uncertainty: An Econometric Approach," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 9(3), pages 276-293, July.
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    14. Manuel Arellano & Stephen Bond, 1991. "Some Tests of Specification for Panel Data: Monte Carlo Evidence and an Application to Employment Equations," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 58(2), pages 277-297.
    15. Douglas Holtz-Eakin & Harvey S. Rosen, 1989. "Municipal Construction Spending: An Empirical Examination," NBER Working Papers 2989, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    16. Borge, Lars-Erik, 2005. "Strong politicians, small deficits: evidence from Norwegian local governments," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 21(2), pages 325-344, June.
    17. Jørn Rattsø, 2004. "Fiscal Adjustment under Centralized Federalism: Empirical Evaluation of the Response to Budgetary Shocks," FinanzArchiv: Public Finance Analysis, Mohr Siebeck, Tübingen, vol. 60(2), pages 240-240, August.
    18. Dahlberg, Matz & Lindström , Tomas, 1996. "Are Local Governments Governed by Forward Looking Decision Makers?," Working Paper Series 1996:20, Uppsala University, Department of Economics.
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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Foremny, Dirk & Solé-Ollé, Albert, 2016. "Who's coming to the rescue? Revenue-sharing slumps and implicit bailouts during the Great Recession," ZEW Discussion Papers 16-049, ZEW - Zentrum für Europäische Wirtschaftsforschung / Center for European Economic Research.
    2. Persson, Lovisa, 2013. "Consumption smoothing in a balanced budget regim," Working Paper Series 2013:19, Uppsala University, Department of Economics.
    3. Maria Cornachione Kula, 2014. "Are US state and local governments consumption smoothers?," Journal of Economic Studies, Emerald Group Publishing, vol. 41(1), pages 87-100, January.
    4. Albert Solé-Ollé & Elisabet Viladecans-Marsal, 2011. "Local spending and the housing boom," Working Papers 2011/27, Institut d'Economia de Barcelona (IEB).
    5. Craig, Steven G. & Hemissi, Wided & Mukherjee, Satadru & Sørensen, Bent E., 2016. "How do politicians save? Buffer-stock management of unemployment insurance finance," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 93(C), pages 18-29.
    6. Federico Revelli, 2013. "Tax Mix Corners and Other Kinks," Journal of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 56(3), pages 741-776.
    7. Halse, Askill H., 2016. "More for everyone: The effect of local interests on spending on infrastructure," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 43(C), pages 41-56.
    8. Lovisa Persson, 2016. "Government consumption smoothing in a balanced budget regime," International Tax and Public Finance, Springer;International Institute of Public Finance, vol. 23(2), pages 289-315, April.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    balanced-budget rules; intertemporal spending behavior; consumption smoothing; local government;

    JEL classification:

    • D91 - Microeconomics - - Micro-Based Behavioral Economics - - - Role and Effects of Psychological, Emotional, Social, and Cognitive Factors on Decision Making
    • H72 - Public Economics - - State and Local Government; Intergovernmental Relations - - - State and Local Budget and Expenditures

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