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Fiscal rules vs. political culture as determinants of soft budget spending behaviors

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  • Jean-Michel Josselin

    () (Economie publique et choix social - CREM - Centre de recherche en économie et management - UNICAEN - Université de Caen Normandie - NU - Normandie Université - UR1 - Université de Rennes 1 - CNRS - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique)

  • Fabio Padovano

    () (Economie publique et choix social - CREM - Centre de recherche en économie et management - UNICAEN - Université de Caen Normandie - NU - Normandie Université - UR1 - Université de Rennes 1 - CNRS - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique)

  • Yvon Rocaboy

    () (Economie publique et choix social - CREM - Centre de recherche en économie et management - UNICAEN - Université de Caen Normandie - NU - Normandie Université - UR1 - Université de Rennes 1 - CNRS - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique)

Abstract

This paper analyses intergovernmental transfers in France and Italy to assess how soft budget spending behaviors may result from slacks in institutional constraints or from phenomena related to political culture, like administrative practices or implementation of rules. It innovates on the previous literature, which concentrated on single countries, by adopting a comparative perspective. We estimate two separate but identical autoregressive forecasting model on French and Italian data to evaluate the extent to which regional administrators of each country can expect to be bailed out given the fiscal rules and institutions they face. This allows to proxy the bailout expectations in both countries and their role in determining soft budget spending behaviors. A larger impact of expectations is taken as evidence of greater discretion in fiscal decisions over and beyond the formal fiscal rules in place, evincing a more lax political culture. The estimates indicate that soft budget constraints and bailing out expectations are a quantitatively important component of local government spending in both countries, regardless the different degrees of stringency of fiscal rules and the type of grants and expenditures (total, current and capital) examined.

Suggested Citation

  • Jean-Michel Josselin & Fabio Padovano & Yvon Rocaboy, 2012. "Fiscal rules vs. political culture as determinants of soft budget spending behaviors," Post-Print halshs-00706980, HAL.
  • Handle: RePEc:hal:journl:halshs-00706980 Note: View the original document on HAL open archive server: https://halshs.archives-ouvertes.fr/halshs-00706980
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Fabio Padovano, 2014. "Distribution of transfers and soft budget spending behaviors: evidence from Italian regions," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 161(1), pages 11-29, October.
    2. John Ashworth & Emma Galli & Fabio Padovano, 2013. "Decentralization as a constraint to Leviathan: a panel cointegration analysis," Public Choice, Springer, pages 491-516.
    3. Makreshanska, Suzana & Petrevski, Goran, 2016. "Fiscal decentralization and government size across Europe," MPRA Paper 82472, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    4. Petrarca, Ilaria, 2014. "No news is costly news: The link between the diffusion of the press and public spending," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 34(C), pages 68-85.
    5. Matthias Bauer, 2013. "Political Aversion To a Multilateral Fiscal Rule: The Dynamic Commitment Problem in European Fiscal Governance," Global Financial Markets Working Paper Series 44-2013, Friedrich-Schiller-University Jena.
    6. Ilaria Petrarca, 2013. "No news is costly news: the link between the diffusion of the press and public spending," Working Papers 16/2013, University of Verona, Department of Economics.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Comparative analysis; Institutions; Expectations; Intergovernmental relations; Transfers; Local public spending; Bailing out;

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