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The Tax-Spending Nexus: Evidence from a Panel of US State- Local Governments

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  • Westerlund, Joakim

    () (Department of Economics, School of Business, Economics and Law, Göteborg University)

  • Mahdavi, Saeid

    (University of Texas at San Antonio)

Abstract

We re-examine the tax-spending nexus using a panel of 50 US state-local government units between 1963 and 1997. We find that, unlike tax revenues, expenditures adjust to revert back to a long-term equilibrium relationship. The evidence on the short-term dynamics is also consistent with the tax-and-spend hypothesis. One implication of this finding is that the size of the government at the state-local level is not determined by expenditure demand, but rather by resource supply. This is consistent with the fact that many US state and local governments operate under constitutional or legislative limitations that seek to constrain deficits.

Suggested Citation

  • Westerlund, Joakim & Mahdavi, Saeid, 2009. "The Tax-Spending Nexus: Evidence from a Panel of US State- Local Governments," Working Papers in Economics 378, University of Gothenburg, Department of Economics.
  • Handle: RePEc:hhs:gunwpe:0378
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    File URL: http://hdl.handle.net/2077/21048
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Hoover, Kevin D & Sheffrin, Steven M, 1992. "Causation, Spending, and Taxes: Sand in the Sandbox or Tax Collector for the Welfare State?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 82(1), pages 225-248, March.
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    5. Payne, James E, 1998. "The Tax-Spend Debate: Time Series Evidence from State Budgets," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 95(3-4), pages 307-320, June.
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    8. Rolf Larsson & Johan Lyhagen & Mickael Lothgren, 2001. "Likelihood-based cointegration tests in heterogeneous panels," Econometrics Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 4(1), pages 1-41.
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    Cited by:

    1. Bayer, Ralph-C. & Oberhofer, Harald & Winner, Hannes, 2015. "The occurrence of tax amnesties: Theory and evidence," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 125(C), pages 70-82.
    2. repec:bla:sajeco:v:84:y:2016:i:4:p:520-537 is not listed on IDEAS
    3. repec:kap:iaecre:v:21:y:2015:i:3:p:299-315 is not listed on IDEAS
    4. repec:ksp:journ1:v:4:y:2017:i:1:p:53-70 is not listed on IDEAS
    5. Johann Bröthaler & Michael Getzner, 2015. "The Tax-Spend Debate and Budgetary Policy in Austria," International Advances in Economic Research, Springer;International Atlantic Economic Society, vol. 21(3), pages 299-315, August.
    6. Mihai Mutascu, 2015. "Government revenues and expenditures in the EU ex-communist countries: a bootstrap panel Granger causality approach," Working Papers halshs-01109233, HAL.
    7. repec:seb:journl:v:15:y:2017:i:1:p:47-61 is not listed on IDEAS

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Tax-spend; State and local government; Public finance; Panel unit root; Panel cointegration;

    JEL classification:

    • C33 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Multiple or Simultaneous Equation Models; Multiple Variables - - - Models with Panel Data; Spatio-temporal Models
    • H71 - Public Economics - - State and Local Government; Intergovernmental Relations - - - State and Local Taxation, Subsidies, and Revenue
    • H72 - Public Economics - - State and Local Government; Intergovernmental Relations - - - State and Local Budget and Expenditures

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