IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/p/bdi/wptemi/td_1076_16.html
   My bibliography  Save this paper

Intergovernmental transfers and expenditure arrears

Author

Listed:
  • Paolo Chiades

    () (Bank of Italy)

  • Luciano Greco

    () (University of Padova)

  • Vanni Mengotto

    () (Bank of Italy)

  • Luigi Moretti

    () (University of Bologna)

  • Paola Valbonesi

    () (University of Padova)

Abstract

Local governments may increase expenditure arrears to relax the financial constraints induced by intergovernmental transfer cuts. We assess this hypothesis using information from accounting and financial reports from Italian municipalities for the period 2003-2010. By exploiting the long-lasting effect of the 1977-1978 structural reform of Italian local public finance, we employ an instrumental variable approach to address endogeneity concerns. We find robust empirical evidence that the lower the intergovernmental grants, the larger the use of arrears in public investment expenditures by municipalities. We argue that, when local governments are not subject to effective controls on the formation of arrears but fiscal rules impose binding budget constraints, a cut in intergovernmental transfers can partially diminish the effectiveness of fiscal consolidation at local level.

Suggested Citation

  • Paolo Chiades & Luciano Greco & Vanni Mengotto & Luigi Moretti & Paola Valbonesi, 2016. "Intergovernmental transfers and expenditure arrears," Temi di discussione (Economic working papers) 1076, Bank of Italy, Economic Research and International Relations Area.
  • Handle: RePEc:bdi:wptemi:td_1076_16
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: http://www.bancaditalia.it/pubblicazioni/temi-discussione/2016/2016-1076/en_tema_1076.pdf
    Download Restriction: no

    Other versions of this item:

    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Bracco, Emanuele & Lockwood, Ben & Porcelli, Francesco & Redoano, Michela, 2015. "Intergovernmental grants as signals and the alignment effect: Theory and evidence," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 123(C), pages 78-91.
    2. Christofzik, Désirée I. & Kessing, Sebastian G., 2018. "Does fiscal oversight matter?," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 105(C), pages 70-87.
    3. 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.
    4. J. Kornai & E. Maskin & G. Roland., 2004. "Understanding the Soft Budget Constraint," VOPROSY ECONOMIKI, N.P. Redaktsiya zhurnala "Voprosy Economiki", vol. 12.
    5. Milesi-Ferretti, Gian Maria, 2004. "Good, bad or ugly? On the effects of fiscal rules with creative accounting," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 88(1-2), pages 377-394, January.
    6. Solé-Ollé, Albert & Sorribas-Navarro, Pilar, 2008. "The effects of partisan alignment on the allocation of intergovernmental transfers. Differences-in-differences estimates for Spain," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 92(12), pages 2302-2319, December.
    7. Leandro D’Aurizio & Domenico Depalo & Sandro Momigliano & Emilio Vadalà, 2015. "Trade debts of Italian general government: an unsolved problem," Questioni di Economia e Finanza (Occasional Papers) 295, Bank of Italy, Economic Research and International Relations Area.
    8. Timothy Goodspeed, 2002. "Bailouts in a Federation," International Tax and Public Finance, Springer;International Institute of Public Finance, vol. 9(4), pages 409-421, August.
    9. Camila Vammalle & Claudia Hulbert, 2013. "Sub-national Finances and Fiscal Consolidation: Walking on Thin Ice," OECD Regional Development Working Papers 2013/2, OECD Publishing.
    10. Brollo, Fernanda & Nannicini, Tommaso, 2012. "Tying Your Enemy's Hands in Close Races: The Politics of Federal Transfers in Brazil," American Political Science Review, Cambridge University Press, vol. 106(04), pages 742-761, November.
    11. Paolo Balduzzi & Veronica Grembi, 2011. "Fiscal Rules and Window Dressing: The Case of Italian Municipalities," Giornale degli Economisti, GDE (Giornale degli Economisti e Annali di Economia), Bocconi University, vol. 70(1), pages 97-122, January.
    12. Checherita-Westphal, Cristina & Klemm, Alexander & Viefers, Paul, 2016. "Governments’ payment discipline: The macroeconomic impact of public payment delays and arrears," Journal of Macroeconomics, Elsevier, vol. 47(PB), pages 147-165.
    13. Margit Molnar, 2012. "Fiscal Consolidation: Part 5. What Factors Determine the Success of Consolidation Efforts?," OECD Economics Department Working Papers 936, OECD Publishing.
    14. Douglas Sutherland & Robert Price & Isabelle Joumard, 2005. "Fiscal Rules for Sub-central Governments: Design and Impact," OECD Economics Department Working Papers 465, OECD Publishing.
    15. Luiz de Mello, 2007. "Local Government Finances: The Link between Intergovernmental Transfers and Net Worth," OECD Economics Department Working Papers 581, OECD Publishing.
    16. Andrea Pescatori & Daniel Leigh & Jaime Guajardo & Pete Devries, 2011. "A New Action-Based Dataset of Fiscal Consolidation," IMF Working Papers 11/128, International Monetary Fund.
    17. Tommaso Nannicini & Andrea Stella & Guido Tabellini & Ugo Troiano, 2013. "Social Capital and Political Accountability," American Economic Journal: Economic Policy, American Economic Association, vol. 5(2), pages 222-250, May.
    18. Emanuele Bracco & Alberto Brugnoli, 2012. "Runoff vs. plurality," Working Papers 23767067, Lancaster University Management School, Economics Department.
    19. Jonathan A. Rodden & Gunnar S. Eskeland (ed.), 2003. "Fiscal Decentralization and the Challenge of Hard Budget Constraints," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 0262182297.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    More about this item

    Keywords

    local public finance; fiscal consolidation; fiscal rules; instrumental variables;

    JEL classification:

    • H30 - Public Economics - - Fiscal Policies and Behavior of Economic Agents - - - General
    • H72 - Public Economics - - State and Local Government; Intergovernmental Relations - - - State and Local Budget and Expenditures
    • H77 - Public Economics - - State and Local Government; Intergovernmental Relations - - - Intergovernmental Relations; Federalism
    • C33 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Multiple or Simultaneous Equation Models; Multiple Variables - - - Models with Panel Data; Spatio-temporal Models
    • C36 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Multiple or Simultaneous Equation Models; Multiple Variables - - - Instrumental Variables (IV) Estimation

    NEP fields

    This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:

    Statistics

    Access and download statistics

    Corrections

    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:bdi:wptemi:td_1076_16. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (). General contact details of provider: http://edirc.repec.org/data/bdigvit.html .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If CitEc recognized a reference but did not link an item in RePEc to it, you can help with this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.