IDEAS home Printed from
   My bibliography  Save this paper

Fiscal Responsibility and the Supply of Public Goods


  • Paulo Arvate
  • Braz Camargo
  • Carlos Pereira


In this paper we show a model where fiscal responsibility laws, by reducing the ability of politicians to use public resources for personal gains, can lead to an increase in the supply of public goods. We test this conjecture using data from Brazilian municipalities. As a nationwide institutional innovation, Brazil's fiscal responsibility law (FRL) was exogenous to all municipalities; therefore, there was no self-selection bias in its implementation. We found a higher supply of public goods in education after the FRL (teachers, classrooms, and enrollments). The education is the most important social expenditure at the municipal level in Brazil. Our result is robust for small municipalities, municipalities with greater or lower dependency of intergovernmental transfers, and municipalities where the second-round is permitted.

Suggested Citation

  • Paulo Arvate & Braz Camargo & Carlos Pereira, 2010. "Fiscal Responsibility and the Supply of Public Goods," Working Papers 06-2010, Universidade de São Paulo, Faculdade de Economia, Administração e Contabilidade de Ribeirão Preto.
  • Handle: RePEc:fea:wpaper:06-2010

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL:
    File Function: First version, 2010
    Download Restriction: no

    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Fernanda Brollo & Tommaso Nannicini & Roberto Perotti & Guido Tabellini, 2013. "The Political Resource Curse," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 103(5), pages 1759-1796, August.
    2. Caselli, Francesco & Morelli, Massimo, 2004. "Bad politicians," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 88(3-4), pages 759-782, March.
    3. Ferraz, Claudio & Finan, Frederico S., 2008. "Motivating Politicians: The Impacts of Monetary Incentives on Quality and Performance," IZA Discussion Papers 3411, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    4. Marcus Melo & Carlos Pereira & Saulo Souza, 2010. "The Political Economy of Fiscal Reform in Brazil: The Rationale for the Suboptimal Equilibrum," Research Department Publications 4655, Inter-American Development Bank, Research Department.
    5. repec:idb:idbbks:6725 is not listed on IDEAS
    6. Messner, Matthias & Polborn, Mattias K., 2004. "Paying politicians," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 88(12), pages 2423-2445, December.
      • Matthias Messner & Mattias Polborn, 2003. "Paying Politicians," Working Papers 246, IGIER (Innocenzo Gasparini Institute for Economic Research), Bocconi University.
    7. Eduardo Lora & Mauricio Olivera, 2004. "What makes reforms likely: Political economy determinants of reforms in Latin America," Journal of Applied Economics, Universidad del CEMA, vol. 7, pages 99-135, May.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    More about this item


    Access and download statistics


    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:fea:wpaper:06-2010. 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: (Bruno Vizona Liberato). General contact details of provider: .

    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.