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What Determines Fiscal Policy? Evidence from German States

  • Helge Berger
  • Anika Holler

This paper explores the factors behind the time path of real spending and revenue in the West German states from 1975 to 2004. The empirical approach stresses robustness and takes into account a large set of economic and political variables. Our results suggest that common economic factors and, to a smaller degree, state-specific economic developments are important determinants of state fiscal performance. In comparison, the influence of political factors is limited both in statistical and quantitative terms. Finally, there is evidence that addressing governance problems and ensuring flexibility in terms of fiscal strategy are important ingredients for any policy aimed at improving fiscal outcomes at the state level.

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File URL: http://www.cesifo-group.de/portal/page/portal/DocBase_Content/WP/WP-CESifo_Working_Papers/wp-cesifo-2007/wp-cesifo-2007-07/cesifo1_wp2062.pdf
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Paper provided by CESifo Group Munich in its series CESifo Working Paper Series with number 2062.

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Date of creation: 2007
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Handle: RePEc:ces:ceswps:_2062
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  1. Maddala, G S & Wu, Shaowen, 1999. " A Comparative Study of Unit Root Tests with Panel Data and a New Simple Test," Oxford Bulletin of Economics and Statistics, Department of Economics, University of Oxford, vol. 61(0), pages 631-52, Special I.
  2. Seitz, Helmut, 2000. " Fiscal Policy, Deficits and Politics of Subnational Governments: The Case of the German Laender," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 102(3-4), pages 183-218, March.
  3. Torsten Persson & Guido Tabellini, 1997. "Political Economics and Macroeconomic Policy," NBER Working Papers 6329, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  4. Jochimsen, Beate & Nuscheler, Robert, 2005. "The Political Economy of the German Länder Deficits," Discussion Papers 2005/6, Free University Berlin, School of Business & Economics.
  5. Galli, Emma & Rossi, Stefania P S, 2002. " Political Budget Cycles: The Case of the Western German Lander," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 110(3-4), pages 283-303, March.
  6. Nordhaus, William D, 1975. "The Political Business Cycle," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 42(2), pages 169-90, April.
  7. Xavier X. Sala-i-Martin, 1997. "I Just Ran Four Million Regressions," NBER Working Papers 6252, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  8. Choi, In, 2001. "Unit root tests for panel data," Journal of International Money and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 20(2), pages 249-272, April.
  9. Bischoff, Ivo & Gohout, Wolfgang, 2006. "Tax projections in German states – manipulated by opportunistic incumbent parties?," Finanzwissenschaftliche Arbeitspapiere 74, Justus Liebig University Giessen, Fachbereich Wirtschaftswissenschaften.
  10. Alberto Alesina & Roberto Perotti, 1994. "The Political Economy of Budget Deficits," NBER Working Papers 4637, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  11. Pedroni, Peter, 1999. " Critical Values for Cointegration Tests in Heterogeneous Panels with Multiple Regressors," Oxford Bulletin of Economics and Statistics, Department of Economics, University of Oxford, vol. 61(0), pages 653-70, Special I.
  12. Niklas Potrafke, 2006. "Parties Matter in Allocating Expenditures: Evidence from Germany," Discussion Papers of DIW Berlin 652, DIW Berlin, German Institute for Economic Research.
  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.
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