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Fiscal Flows, Fiscal Balance, and Fiscal Sustainability

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  • Richard M. Bird

    (Director of the International Tax Program, Joseph L. Rotman School of Management, University of Toronto)

Abstract

The search for “fiscal indicators” to provide a short-hand (and preferably quantitative) picture of the size, direction, and nature of intergovernmental finance – and, ideally, some guidance for policy designed to improve outcomes – appears to be neverending. “Fiscal balance” and “fiscal sustainability” are, for example, terms commonly heard in discussions of intergovernmental fiscal relations. These concepts sound like good things, and often policies are suggested that are intended to achieve them. “Fiscal flows” are perhaps less prominent in policy discussions, but this notion too is often very much in the minds of some of those engaged in such discussions. Indeed, in practice much of the discussion of both fiscal balance and fiscal sustainability often reduces to assertions about the present and projected future course of fiscal flows. The aim of this paper is to provide an overview of the uses and limits of these three approaches to measuring and interpreting the problems and progress of fiscal decentralization.

Suggested Citation

  • Richard M. Bird, 2003. "Fiscal Flows, Fiscal Balance, and Fiscal Sustainability," International Center for Public Policy Working Paper Series, at AYSPS, GSU paper0302, International Center for Public Policy, Andrew Young School of Policy Studies, Georgia State University.
  • Handle: RePEc:ays:ispwps:paper0302
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    File URL: http://icepp.gsu.edu/files/2015/03/ispwp0302.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Di Liddo Giuseppe & Longobardi Ernesto & Porcelli Francesco, 2019. "Fiscal Imbalances and Fiscal Effort of Local Governments," The B.E. Journal of Economic Analysis & Policy, De Gruyter, vol. 19(3), pages 1-7, July.
    2. Liliana Simionescu & Dalina Dumitrescu, 2017. "Migrants Remittances Influence on Fiscal Sustainability in Dependent Economies," The AMFITEATRU ECONOMIC journal, Academy of Economic Studies - Bucharest, Romania, vol. 19(46), pages 640-640, August.
    3. Antoni Zabalza, 2014. "Measuring the Regional Incidence of Taxes and Public Expenditure: The Available Methodology and its Limitations," Hacienda Pública Española / Review of Public Economics, IEF, vol. 209(2), pages 11-54, June.

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