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Strength in Diversity? Fiscal Federalism among the Fifty U.S. States

Author

Listed:
  • Teresa Garcia-Milà
  • Therese J. McGuire
  • Wallace E. Oates

Abstract

Fiscal federalism in the United States has a distinctive structure that contrasts sharply with that in most other industrialized nations. Our purpose in this paper is to describe and explore the U.S. “brand” of fiscal federalism. We demonstrate that there is a striking amount of variety in the 50 state fiscal systems and that these differences have prevailed in the face of potentially disruptive forces. The variety we find stems in large part from states having meaningful fiscal autonomy, in particular, the authority to levy taxes. The result is likely higher societal welfare than would ensue without this autonomy.

Suggested Citation

  • Teresa Garcia-Milà & Therese J. McGuire & Wallace E. Oates, 2017. "Strength in Diversity? Fiscal Federalism among the Fifty U.S. States," Working Papers 1001, Barcelona Graduate School of Economics.
  • Handle: RePEc:bge:wpaper:1001
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    fiscal federalism; fifty U.S. states;

    JEL classification:

    • H70 - Public Economics - - State and Local Government; Intergovernmental Relations - - - General
    • H77 - Public Economics - - State and Local Government; Intergovernmental Relations - - - Intergovernmental Relations; Federalism

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