IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/p/fip/fedfwp/2013-16.html
   My bibliography  Save this paper

Are State Governments Roadblocks to Federal Stimulus? Evidence on the Flypaper Effect of Highway Grants in the 2009 Recovery Act

Author

Listed:
  • Sylvain Leduc
  • Daniel J. Wilson

Abstract

We examine how state governments adjusted spending in response to the large temporary increase in federal grants under the 2009 American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA). We concentrate our analysis on ARRA highway grants, which were especially likely to crowd out states? own highway funding given the lack of matching requirements and according to past research on federal highway grants. The mechanism used to apportion ARRA highway grants to states allows us to isolate exogenous changes in these grants. In addition, we show that the original 1944 proposed layout of the interstate highway system strongly predicts the cross-state distribution of the ARRA highway grants and we use this layout as an alternative instrument. We find that states increased highway spending in 2010 nearly dollar-for-dollar with their apportioned grants, implying little if any crowd-out. Moreover, we find that over the entire 2009-2011 period, ARRA highway grants crowded in highway spending, resulting in roughly two dollars in spending for each dollar in grants. We show that our results are not unique to the ARRA period, but rather are consistent with a strong effect from grants dating back at least to the early 1980s. This latter result contrasts with earlier research (Knight 2002) and we document the sources of the difference.

Suggested Citation

  • Sylvain Leduc & Daniel J. Wilson, 2013. "Are State Governments Roadblocks to Federal Stimulus? Evidence on the Flypaper Effect of Highway Grants in the 2009 Recovery Act," Working Paper Series 2013-16, Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco.
  • Handle: RePEc:fip:fedfwp:2013-16
    DOI: 10.24148/wp2013-16
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: http://www.frbsf.org/economic-research/files/wp2013-16.pdf
    Download Restriction: no

    File URL: https://libkey.io/10.24148/wp2013-16?utm_source=ideas
    LibKey link: if access is restricted and if your library uses this service, LibKey will redirect you to where you can use your library subscription to access this item
    ---><---

    Other versions of this item:

    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Valerie A. Ramey, 2011. "Identifying Government Spending Shocks: It's all in the Timing," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, President and Fellows of Harvard College, vol. 126(1), pages 1-50.
    2. Nicholas S. Souleles & Jonathan A. Parker & David S. Johnson, 2006. "Household Expenditure and the Income Tax Rebates of 2001," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 96(5), pages 1589-1610, December.
    3. Sylvain Leduc & Daniel Wilson, 2013. "Roads to Prosperity or Bridges to Nowhere? Theory and Evidence on the Impact of Public Infrastructure Investment," NBER Macroeconomics Annual, University of Chicago Press, vol. 27(1), pages 89-142.
    4. Singhal, Monica, 2008. "Special interest groups and the allocation of public funds," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 92(3-4), pages 548-564, April.
    5. Daniel J. Wilson, 2012. "Fiscal Spending Jobs Multipliers: Evidence from the 2009 American Recovery and Reinvestment Act," American Economic Journal: Economic Policy, American Economic Association, vol. 4(3), pages 251-282, August.
    6. John F. Cogan & John B. Taylor, 2012. "What the Government Purchases Multiplier Actually Multiplied in the 2009 Stimulus Package," Book Chapters, in: Lee E. Ohanian & John B. Taylor & Ian J. Wright (ed.), Government Policies and the Delayed Economic Recovery, chapter 5, Hoover Institution, Stanford University.
    7. Gabriel Chodorow-Reich & Laura Feiveson & Zachary Liscow & William Gui Woolston, 2012. "Does State Fiscal Relief during Recessions Increase Employment? Evidence from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act," American Economic Journal: Economic Policy, American Economic Association, vol. 4(3), pages 118-145, August.
    8. Andrews,Donald W. K. & Stock,James H. (ed.), 2005. "Identification and Inference for Econometric Models," Cambridge Books, Cambridge University Press, number 9780521844413, November.
    9. Gilles Duranton & Matthew A. Turner, 2011. "The Fundamental Law of Road Congestion: Evidence from US Cities," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 101(6), pages 2616-2652, October.
    10. Guy Michaels, 2008. "The Effect of Trade on the Demand for Skill: Evidence from the Interstate Highway System," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 90(4), pages 683-701, November.
    11. Edward M. Gramlich, 1978. "State and Local Budgets the Day after It Rained: Why Is the Surplus So High?," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 9(1), pages 191-216.
    12. Baicker, Katherine & Clemens, Jeffrey & Singhal, Monica, 2012. "The rise of the states: U.S. fiscal decentralization in the postwar period," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 96(11), pages 1079-1091.
    13. Gramlich, Edward M, 1979. "Stimulating the Macro Economy through State and Local Governments," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 69(2), pages 180-185, May.
    14. Òscar Jordà, 2005. "Estimation and Inference of Impulse Responses by Local Projections," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 95(1), pages 161-182, March.
    15. Nathaniel Baum-Snow, 2007. "Did Highways Cause Suburbanization?," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, President and Fellows of Harvard College, vol. 122(2), pages 775-805.
    16. Robert P. Inman, 2008. "The Flypaper Effect," NBER Working Papers 14579, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    17. Brian Knight, 2002. "Endogenous Federal Grants and Crowd-out of State Government Spending: Theory and Evidence from the Federal Highway Aid Program," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 92(1), pages 71-92, March.
    18. James Feyrer & Bruce Sacerdote, 2011. "Did the Stimulus Stimulate? Real Time Estimates of the Effects of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act," NBER Working Papers 16759, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    19. James R. Hines & Richard H. Thaler, 1995. "The Flypaper Effect," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 9(4), pages 217-226, Fall.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    Most related items

    These are the items that most often cite the same works as this one and are cited by the same works as this one.
    1. Sylvain Leduc, 2015. "Are State Governments Roadblocks to Federal Stimulus? Evidence from Highway Grants in the 2009 Recovery Act," 2015 Meeting Papers 1020, Society for Economic Dynamics.
    2. Gerald Carlino & Robert P. Inman, 2013. "Macro Fiscal Policy in Economic Unions: States as Agents," NBER Working Papers 19559, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    3. Sylvain Leduc & Daniel Wilson, 2013. "Roads to Prosperity or Bridges to Nowhere? Theory and Evidence on the Impact of Public Infrastructure Investment," NBER Macroeconomics Annual, University of Chicago Press, vol. 27(1), pages 89-142.
    4. Gerald Carlino & Robert P. Inman, 2016. "Fiscal Stimulus in Economic Unions: What Role for States?," Tax Policy and the Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 30(1), pages 1-50.
    5. Feiveson, Laura, 2015. "General revenue sharing and public sector unions," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 125(C), pages 28-45.
    6. Garin, Andrew, 2019. "Putting America to work, where? Evidence on the effectiveness of infrastructure construction as a locally targeted employment policy," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 111(C), pages 108-131.
    7. Robert S. Chirinko & Daniel J. Wilson, 2023. "Job Creation Tax Credits, Fiscal Foresight, and Job Growth: Evidence from US States," National Tax Journal, University of Chicago Press, vol. 76(3), pages 481-523.
    8. Michihito Ando, 2017. "How much should we trust regression-kink-design estimates?," Empirical Economics, Springer, vol. 53(3), pages 1287-1322, November.
    9. Sylvain Leduc & Daniel J. Wilson, 2022. "The Road of Federal Infrastructure Spending Passes Through the States," Working Paper Series 2022-03, Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco.
    10. Aart Kraay, 2014. "Government Spending Multipliers in Developing Countries: Evidence from Lending by Official Creditors," American Economic Journal: Macroeconomics, American Economic Association, vol. 6(4), pages 170-208, October.
    11. Joonkyu Choi & Veronika Penciakova & Felipe Saffie, 2021. "Political Connections, Allocation of Stimulus Spending, and the Jobs Multiplier," FRB Atlanta Working Paper 2021-13, Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta.
    12. Bill Dupor, 2017. "So, Why Didn’t the 2009 Recovery Act Improve the Nation’s Highways and Bridges?," Review, Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis, vol. 99(2), pages 169-182.
    13. Gabriel Chodorow-Reich, 2017. "Geographic Cross-Sectional Fiscal Multipliers: What Have We Learned?," 2017 Meeting Papers 1214, Society for Economic Dynamics.
    14. Bill Dupor, 2013. "Creating jobs via the 2009 recovery act: state medicaid grants compared to broadly-directed spending," Working Papers 2013-035, Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis.
    15. Emma Hooper & Sanjay Peters & Patrick A. Pintus, 2021. "The impact of infrastructure investments on income inequality: Evidence from US states," Economics of Transition and Institutional Change, John Wiley & Sons, vol. 29(2), pages 227-256, April.
    16. Gilles Duranton & Matthew A. Turner, 2011. "The Fundamental Law of Road Congestion: Evidence from US Cities," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 101(6), pages 2616-2652, October.
    17. Imai, Masami, 2022. "Local economic impacts of legislative malapportionment," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 131(C).
    18. Buchheim, Lukas & Watzinger, Martin, 2017. "The Employment Effects of Countercyclical Infrastructure Investments," Discussion Papers in Economics 34877, University of Munich, Department of Economics.
    19. Eric Brunner & Joshua Hyman & Andrew Ju, 2020. "School Finance Reforms, Teachers' Unions, and the Allocation of School Resources," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 102(3), pages 473-489, July.
    20. Dupor, Bill & Guerrero, Rodrigo, 2017. "Local and aggregate fiscal policy multipliers," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 92(C), pages 16-30.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Public investments; Infrastructure (Economics); Roads; state finances; American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • H54 - Public Economics - - National Government Expenditures and Related Policies - - - Infrastructures
    • H76 - Public Economics - - State and Local Government; Intergovernmental Relations - - - Other Expenditure Categories
    • R42 - Urban, Rural, Regional, Real Estate, and Transportation Economics - - Transportation Economics - - - Government and Private Investment Analysis; Road Maintenance; Transportation Planning
    • R53 - Urban, Rural, Regional, Real Estate, and Transportation Economics - - Regional Government Analysis - - - Public Facility Location Analysis; Public Investment and Capital Stock

    NEP fields

    This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:

    Statistics

    Access and download statistics

    Corrections

    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:fip:fedfwp:2013-16. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    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 bibliographic 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.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco Research Library (email available below). General contact details of provider: https://edirc.repec.org/data/frbsfus.html .

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service. RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.