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Fiscal Effects of Reforming Local Constitutions

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  • Lorenz Blume
  • Thomas Döring
  • Stefan Voigt

Abstract

Most German states amended their local constitutions during the 1990s and now allow for the direct election of mayors, initiatives and referendums, and vote aggregation, as well as vote splitting. In this paper, it is asked whether these reforms had any effects on local fiscal policies. It is shown that the direct election of mayors led to lower government spending, whereas the introduction of direct democratic elements led to higher expenditures. The empirical results concerning direct democracy are substantially different from findings in relation to both Switzerland and the US. It is argued that this difference may be due to a lack of fiscal referendums in Germany.

Suggested Citation

  • Lorenz Blume & Thomas Döring & Stefan Voigt, 2011. "Fiscal Effects of Reforming Local Constitutions," Urban Studies, Urban Studies Journal Limited, vol. 48(10), pages 2123-2140, August.
  • Handle: RePEc:sae:urbstu:v:48:y:2011:i:10:p:2123-2140
    DOI: 10.1177/0042098010382676
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    Cited by:

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    2. Peter Bönisch & Benny Geys & Claus Michelsen, 2015. "David and Goliath in the Poll Booth: Group Size, Voting Power and Voter Turnout," Discussion Papers of DIW Berlin 1491, DIW Berlin, German Institute for Economic Research.
    3. Felix Arnold & Ronny Freier, 2015. "Signature requirements and citizen initiatives: Quasi-experimental evidence from Germany," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 162(1), pages 43-56, January.
    4. John G. Matsusaka, 2018. "Public policy and the initiative and referendum: a survey with some new evidence," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 174(1), pages 107-143, January.

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