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Partial Fiscal Decentralization and Sub-National Government Fiscal Discipline: Empirical Evidence from OECD Countries

Listed author(s):
  • Zareh Asatryan
  • Lars P. Feld
  • Benny Geys

Recent theoretical research suggests that financing sub-national governments’ expenditure out of own revenue sources is linked to more responsible budgeting, because the financial implications of spending decisions then are internalized within a jurisdiction. We test this proposition empirically on a sample of 23 OECD countries over the 1975-2000 period, and find evidence in line with the hypothesis that greater revenue decentralization (measured as sub-national governments’ share of own source tax revenues in general government tax revenue) is associated with improved sub-national government budget deficits/surpluses. This finding is cross-validated with a novel, independent dataset consisting of all 34 OECD member states from 2002 to 2008.

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Paper provided by CESifo Group Munich in its series CESifo Working Paper Series with number 5279.

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Date of creation: 2015
Handle: RePEc:ces:ceswps:_5279
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  7. Hansjörg Blöchliger & Oliver Petzold, 2009. "Taxes and Grants: On the Revenue Mix of Sub-Central Governments," OECD Working Papers on Fiscal Federalism 7, OECD Publishing.
  8. Jonathan Rodden & Erik Wibbels, 2010. "Fiscal Decentralization And The Business Cycle: An Empirical Study Of Seven Federations," Economics and Politics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 22(1), pages 37-67, March.
  9. Asatryan, Zareh & Feld, Lars P., 2015. "Revisiting the link between growth and federalism: A Bayesian model averaging approach," Journal of Comparative Economics, Elsevier, vol. 43(3), pages 772-781.
  10. Borge, Lars-Erik & Brueckner, Jan K. & Rattsø, Jorn, 2014. "Partial fiscal decentralization and demand responsiveness of the local public sector: Theory and evidence from Norway," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 80(C), pages 153-163.
  11. Ebel, Robert D. & Yilmaz, Serdar, 2002. "On the measurement and impact of fiscal decentralization," Policy Research Working Paper Series 2809, The World Bank.
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  20. Foremny, Dirk, 2014. "Sub-national deficits in European countries: The impact of fiscal rules and tax autonomy," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 34(C), pages 86-110.
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