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Intergovernmental transfers and public spending in Brazilian municipalities

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  • Arvate, Paulo Roberto
  • Mattos, Enlinson
  • Rocha, Fabiana

Abstract

We estimate the effects of unconditional (full fiscal decentralization) versus conditional (partial fiscal decentralization) block grants on local public spending in Brazilian municipalities. Our results suggest that the effect of unconditional and conditional transfers do not differ statistically. Their combination promotes a full crowding-in effect on aggregate public spending — i.e., for $1 of unconditional and conditional grant receipts; we find $1 of additional local public expenditures, greater than the corresponding effect of local income, providing further evidence for the flypaper effect. Moreover, the effect of unconditional transfers on education (health) spending is smaller than the effect of conditional education (health) transfers but greater than the corresponding effect of local income. We consider four strategies to identify causal effects of federal grants and the local income on fiscal responses regarding Brazilian local governments: (i) a fuzzy regression discontinuity design, (ii) Redistributive rules of education funds, (iii) Oil and Gas production, and (iv) Rainfall deviations from the historical mean.

Suggested Citation

  • Arvate, Paulo Roberto & Mattos, Enlinson & Rocha, Fabiana, 2015. "Intergovernmental transfers and public spending in Brazilian municipalities," Textos para discussão 377, FGV/EESP - Escola de Economia de São Paulo, Getulio Vargas Foundation (Brazil).
  • Handle: RePEc:fgv:eesptd:377
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Eric ROUGIER & François COMBARNOUS & Yves-André FAURE, 2017. "The ‘local economy’ effect of social transfers: A municipality-level analysis of the local growth impact of the Bolsa Familia Programme in the Brazilian Nordeste," Cahiers du GREThA 2017-09, Groupe de Recherche en Economie Théorique et Appliquée.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • 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

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