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Public finance, government spending and economic growth: the case of local governments in Brazil


  • Luiz De Mello


The impact of local government spending on output growth is estimated using a panel of Brazilian municipalities during 1985-1994. Attention is focused on three expenditure categories, housing/urbanization, health/sanitation, and transport services, which are expected to be growth-enhancing, and their sources of finance (local taxes, intergovernmental transfers, and borrowing). The determinants of these spending categories are also examined. The size of the municipality, measured by the resident population, is shown to affect government spending nonlinearly. This is a contribution to the recent empirical literature on the linkages between decentralized government spending, public finances, and economic growth at the local, rather than national, level.

Suggested Citation

  • Luiz De Mello, 2002. "Public finance, government spending and economic growth: the case of local governments in Brazil," Applied Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 34(15), pages 1871-1883.
  • Handle: RePEc:taf:applec:v:34:y:2002:i:15:p:1871-1883
    DOI: 10.1080/00036840210128726

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Diewert, Walter E & Wales, Terence J, 1987. "Flexible Functional Forms and Global Curvature Conditions," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 55(1), pages 43-68, January.
    2. McKenzie, David J & Small, John P, 1997. "Econometric Cost Structure Estimates for Cellular Telephony in the United States," Journal of Regulatory Economics, Springer, vol. 12(2), pages 147-157, September.
    3. Roller, Lars-Hendrik, 1990. "Proper Quadratic Cost Functions with an Application to the Bell System," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 72(2), pages 202-210, May.
    4. Charles R. Hulten, 1992. "Growth Accounting When Technical Change is Embodied in Capital," NBER Working Papers 3971, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    5. Richard T. Shin & John S. Ying, 1992. "Unnatural Monopolies in Local Telephone," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 23(2), pages 171-183, Summer.
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    Cited by:

    1. Mogues, Tewodaj & Benin, Samuel, 2012. "Do External Grants to District Governments Discourage Own Revenue Generation? A Look at Local Public Finance Dynamics in Ghana," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 40(5), pages 1054-1067.
    2. Daniel da Mata & Uwe Deichmann & J. Vernon Henderson & Somik V. Lall & Hyoung G. Wang, 2005. "Examining the Growth Patterns of Brazilian Cities," Discussion Papers 1113, Instituto de Pesquisa Econômica Aplicada - IPEA.
    3. Melissa Yeoh & Dean Stansel, 2013. "Is Public Expenditure Productive? Evidence from the Manufacturing Sector in U.S. Cities, 1880-1920," Cato Journal, Cato Journal, Cato Institute, vol. 33(1), pages 1-28, Winter.
    4. Comola, Margherita & de Mello, Luiz, 2010. "Fiscal Decentralization and Urbanization in Indonesia," WIDER Working Paper Series 058, World Institute for Development Economic Research (UNU-WIDER).
    5. Allcott, Hunt & Lederman, Daniel & Lopez, Ramon, 2006. "Political institutions, inequality, and agricultural growth : the public expenditure connection," Policy Research Working Paper Series 3902, The World Bank.
    6. de Mello, Luiz, 2006. "Fiscal responsibility legislation and fiscal adjustment : the case of Brazilian local governments," Policy Research Working Paper Series 3812, The World Bank.
    7. Sanoh, Aly, 2015. "Rainfall Shocks, Local Revenues, and Intergovernmental Transfer in Mali," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 66(C), pages 359-370.

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