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Property Tax Limits, Balanced Budget Rules, and Line-Item Vetoes: A Long-Run View

Listed author(s):
  • John A. Dove

    ()

    (Troy University)

Abstract This paper explores the early development of three important fiscal institutions faced by U.S. state governments: property tax limits (PTLs), balanced budget rules (BBRs), and the gubernatorial line-item veto (LIV). Specifically, this study attempts to provide historical context for their development and an empirical investigation of their long-run effect on state finances (running from 1830 to 1920). Results, which are robust to a number of specifications, suggest that early PTLs decreased both revenues and expenditures, BBRs had a larger effect on revenues rather than expenditures, while the LIV had a somewhat limited effect on both revenues and expenditures.

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File URL: http://link.springer.com/10.1057/s41302-016-0001-1
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Article provided by Palgrave Macmillan & Eastern Economic Association in its journal Eastern Economic Journal.

Volume (Year): 43 (2017)
Issue (Month): 2 (March)
Pages: 288-317

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Handle: RePEc:pal:easeco:v:43:y:2017:i:2:d:10.1057_s41302-016-0001-1
DOI: 10.1057/s41302-016-0001-1
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  1. Dove, John A., 2014. "Financial markets, fiscal constraints, and municipal debt: lessons and evidence from the panic of 1873," Journal of Institutional Economics, Cambridge University Press, vol. 10(01), pages 71-106, March.
  2. Timothy Besley & Anne Case, 2003. "Political Institutions and Policy Choices: Evidence from the United States," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 41(1), pages 7-73, March.
  3. Clifford F.Thies, 2002. "The American Railroad Network during the Early 19th Century:Private versus Public Enterprise," Cato Journal, Cato Journal, Cato Institute, vol. 22(2), pages 229-261, Fall.
  4. Namsuk Kim & John Joseph Wallis, 2003. "The Market for American State Government Bonds in Britain and the United States, 1830-1843," NBER Working Papers 10108, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  5. Alberto Alesina & Tamim Bayoumi, 1996. "The Costs and Benefits of Fiscal Rules: Evidence from U.S. States," NBER Working Papers 5614, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  6. Ronald J. Shadbegian, 1998. "Do Tax and Expenditure Limitations Affect Local Government Budgets? Evidence From Panel Data," Public Finance Review, , vol. 26(2), pages 118-136, March.
  7. Alm, James & Evers, Mark, 1991. "The Item Veto and State Government Expenditures," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 68(1-3), pages 1-15, January.
  8. Dearden, James A & Husted, Thomas A, 1993. "Do Governors Get What They Want?: An Alternative Examination of the Line-Item Veto," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 77(4), pages 707-723, December.
  9. Poterba, James M, 1994. "State Responses to Fiscal Crises: The Effects of Budgetary Institutions and Politics," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 102(4), pages 799-821, August.
  10. repec:cto:journl:v:20:y:2000:i:2:p:255-277 is not listed on IDEAS
  11. Carter, John R & Schap, David, 1990. "Line-Item Veto: Where Is Thy Sting?," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 4(2), pages 103-118, Spring.
  12. Ellen Seljan, 2014. "The limits of tax and expenditure limits: TEL implementation as a principal-agent problem," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 159(3), pages 485-501, June.
  13. Arthur Grinath III & John Joseph Wallis & Richard Sylla, 1997. "Debt, Default, and Revenue Structure: The American State Debt Crisis in the Early 1840s," NBER Historical Working Papers 0097, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  14. Burton Abrams & William Dougan, 1986. "The effects of constitutional restraints on governmental spending," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 49(2), pages 101-116, January.
  15. Dale Bails and Margie A. Tieslau, 2000. "The Impact of Fiscal Constitutions on State and Local Expenditures," Cato Journal, Cato Journal, Cato Institute, vol. 20(2), Fall.
  16. John Dove, 2012. "Credible commitments and constitutional constraints: state debt repudiation and default in nineteenth century America," Constitutional Political Economy, Springer, vol. 23(1), pages 66-93, March.
  17. Ronald J. Shadbegian, 1996. "Do Tax And Expenditure Limitations Affect The Size And Growth Of State Government?," Contemporary Economic Policy, Western Economic Association International, vol. 14(1), pages 22-35, 01.
  18. English, William B, 1996. "Understanding the Costs of Sovereign Default: American State Debts in the 1840's," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 86(1), pages 259-275, March.
  19. Wallis, John Joseph, 2005. "Constitutions, Corporations, and Corruption: American States and Constitutional Change, 1842 to 1852," The Journal of Economic History, Cambridge University Press, vol. 65(01), pages 211-256, March.
  20. David M. Primo, 2006. "Stop Us Before We Spend Again: Institutional Constraints On Government Spending," Economics and Politics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 18(3), pages 269-312, November.
  21. Yilin Hou & Daniel Smith, 2010. "Do state balanced budget requirements matter? Testing two explanatory frameworks," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 145(1), pages 57-79, October.
  22. Dale Bails, 1982. "A critique on the effectiveness of tax-expenditure limitations," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 38(2), pages 129-138, January.
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