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Partisanship and Fiscal Policy in Economic Unions: Evidence from U.S. States

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Abstract

In economic unions the fiscal authority consists not of one, but many governments. We analyze whether partisanship of state-level politicians affects federal policies, such as fiscal stimulus in the U.S. Using data from close elections, we find partisan differences in the marginal propensity to spend federal transfers: Republican governors spend less. This partisan difference has tended to increase with measures of polarization. We quantify the aggregate effects in a New Keynesian model of Republican and Democratic states in a monetary union: Lowering partisan differences to levels prevailing during less polarized times increases the transfer multiplier by 0.30. The observed changes in the share of Republican governors lead to variation in the multiplier of 0.20 in the model. Local projection methods support this prediction.

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  • , 2020. "Partisanship and Fiscal Policy in Economic Unions: Evidence from U.S. States," Working Papers 20-20, Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia.
  • Handle: RePEc:fip:fedpwp:88106
    DOI: 10.21799/frbp.wp.2020.20
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    Cited by:

    1. Dodge Cahan & Niklas Potrafke, 2021. "The Democrat-Republican presidential growth gap and the partisan balance of the state governments," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 189(3), pages 577-601, December.
    2. David Parsley & Helen Popper, 2021. "Risk Sharing in a Politically Divided Monetary Union," Open Economies Review, Springer, vol. 32(4), pages 649-669, September.

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    partisanship; flypaper effect; intergovernmental transfers; fiscal multiplier; monetary union; regression discontinuity.;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • C24 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Single Equation Models; Single Variables - - - Truncated and Censored Models; Switching Regression Models; Threshold Regression Models
    • E62 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Macroeconomic Policy, Macroeconomic Aspects of Public Finance, and General Outlook - - - Fiscal Policy
    • F45 - International Economics - - Macroeconomic Aspects of International Trade and Finance - - - Macroeconomic Issues of Monetary Unions
    • 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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