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State Responses to Fiscal Crises: The Effects of Budgetary Institutions and Politics

  • Poterba, James M

This paper explores the dynamics of state taxes and spending during the late 1980s when regional economic downturns and increased expenditure demands led to substantial state budget deficits. More restrictive state fiscal institutions, such as 'no-deficit carryover' rules and tax and expenditure limitations, are correlated with more rapid fiscal adjustment to unexpected deficits. Political factors are also important. When a single party controls the state house and the governorship, deficit adjustment is much faster than when party control is divided. In gubernatorial election years, tax increases and spending cuts are both significantly smaller than at other times. Copyright 1994 by University of Chicago Press.

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Article provided by University of Chicago Press in its journal Journal of Political Economy.

Volume (Year): 102 (1994)
Issue (Month): 4 (August)
Pages: 799-821

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Handle: RePEc:ucp:jpolec:v:102:y:1994:i:4:p:799-821
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  1. Harold W. Elder, 1992. "Exploring the Tax Revolt: an Analysis of the Effects of State Tax and Expenditure Limitation Laws," Public Finance Review, , vol. 20(1), pages 47-63, January.
  2. Feenberg, Daniel R, et al, 1989. "Testing the Rationality of State Revenue Forecasts," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 71(2), pages 300-308, May.
  3. Bloom, Howard S. & Ladd, Helen F., 1982. "Property tax revaluation and tax levy growth," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 11(1), pages 73-84, January.
  4. Douglas Holtz-Eakin & Harvey S. Rosen, 1989. "Municipal Construction Spending: An Empirical Examination," NBER Working Papers 2989, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  5. Borcherding, Thomas E & Deacon, Robert T, 1972. "The Demand for the Services of Non-Federal Governments," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 62(5), pages 891-901, December.
  6. Ladd, Helen F., 1991. "Property tax revaluation and tax levy growth revisited," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 30(1), pages 83-99, July.
  7. Sachs, Jeffrey & Alesina, Alberto, 1988. "Political Parties and the Business Cycle in the United States, 1948-1984," Scholarly Articles 4553026, Harvard University Department of Economics.
  8. Rogers, D.L. & Rogers, J.H., 1993. "An Empirical Examination of State Government Budgets," Papers 3-93-5, Pennsylvania State - Department of Economics.
  9. Edward M. Gramlich, 1991. "The 1991 State and Local Fiscal Crisis," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 22(2), pages 249-288.
  10. Alesina, Alberto & Rosenthal, Howard, 1996. "A Theory of Divided Government," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 64(6), pages 1311-41, November.
  11. Helen F. Ladd, 1993. "State responses to the TRA86 revenue windfalls: A new test of the flypaper effect," Journal of Policy Analysis and Management, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 12(1), pages 82-103.
  12. Carter, John R & Schap, David, 1990. "Line-Item Veto: Where Is Thy Sting?," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 4(2), pages 103-18, Spring.
  13. 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.
  14. Bergstrom, Theodore C & Goodman, Robert P, 1973. "Private Demands for Public Goods," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 63(3), pages 280-96, June.
  15. Alm, James & Evers, Mark, 1991. " The Item Veto and State Government Expenditures," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 68(1-3), pages 1-15, January.
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