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Stimulating Local Public Employment: Do General Grants Work?

Author

Listed:
  • Lundqvist, Heléne

    () (Uppsala Center for Fiscal Studies)

  • Dahlberg, Matz

    () (Uppsala Center for Fiscal Studies)

  • Mörk, Eva

    () (Uppsala Center for Fiscal Studies)

Abstract

The effectiveness of public funds in increasing public employment has long been a question on public and labor economists’ minds. In most federal countries local governments employ large fractions of the working population, meaning that a tool for stimulating local public employment can substantially affect the overall unemployment level. This paper asks whether general grants to lower-level governments have the potential of doing so. Applying the regression kink design to the Swedish grant system, we are able to estimate causal effects of intergovernmental grants on personnel in different local government sectors. Our robust conclusion is that personnel in the central administration increased substantially after a marginal increase in grants, but that such an effect was lacking both for total personnel and personnel in child care, schools, elderly care, social welfare and in technical services. We suggest several potential reasons for these results, such as heterogeneous treatment effects and bureaucratic influence in the local decision-making process.

Suggested Citation

  • Lundqvist, Heléne & Dahlberg, Matz & Mörk, Eva, 2010. "Stimulating Local Public Employment: Do General Grants Work?," Working Paper Series, Center for Fiscal Studies 2010:9, Uppsala University, Department of Economics.
  • Handle: RePEc:hhs:uufswp:2010_009
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Bergström, Pål & Dahlberg, Matz & Johansson, Eva, 1998. "Municipal labour demand," Working Paper Series 1998:1, IFAU - Institute for Evaluation of Labour Market and Education Policy.
    2. Dahlberg, Matz & Mörk, Eva & Rattsø, Jørn & Ågren, Hanna, 2008. "Using a discontinuous grant rule to identify the effect of grants on local taxes and spending," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 92(12), pages 2320-2335, December.
    3. Marianne Simonsen & Lars Skipper & Niels Skipper, 2016. "Price Sensitivity of Demand for Prescription Drugs: Exploiting a Regression Kink Design," Journal of Applied Econometrics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 31(2), pages 320-337, March.
    4. Hahn, Jinyong & Todd, Petra & Van der Klaauw, Wilbert, 2001. "Identification and Estimation of Treatment Effects with a Regression-Discontinuity Design," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 69(1), pages 201-209, January.
    5. Mathias Dewatripont & Ian Jewitt & Jean Tirole, 1999. "The Economics of Career Concerns, Part II: Application to Missions and Accountability of Government Agencies," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 66(1), pages 199-217.
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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Foremny, Dirk & Solé-Ollé, Albert, 2016. "Who's coming to the rescue? Revenue-sharing slumps and implicit bailouts during the Great Recession," ZEW Discussion Papers 16-049, ZEW - Zentrum für Europäische Wirtschaftsforschung / Center for European Economic Research.
    2. Blomquist, Johan & Nordin, Martin, 2017. "Do the CAP subsidies increase employment in Sweden? estimating the effects of government transfers using an exogenous change in the CAP," Regional Science and Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 63(C), pages 13-24.
    3. Bana, Sarah & Bedard, Kelly & Rossin-Slater, Maya, 2018. "The Impacts of Paid Family Leave Benefits: Regression Kink Evidence from California Administrative Data," IZA Discussion Papers 11381, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    4. repec:spr:empeco:v:53:y:2017:i:3:d:10.1007_s00181-016-1155-8 is not listed on IDEAS
    5. Olsson, Ola & Valsecchi, Michele, 2015. "Resource Windfalls and Local Government Behaviour: Evidence From a Policy Reform in Indonesia," Working Papers in Economics 635, University of Gothenburg, Department of Economics.
    6. Garret Christensen & Edward Miguel, 2018. "Transparency, Reproducibility, and the Credibility of Economics Research," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 56(3), pages 920-980, September.
    7. Dupor, William D. & Mehkari, M. Saif, 2015. "Schools and Stimulus," Working Papers 2015-4, Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis.
    8. Michihito Ando, 2017. "How much should we trust regression-kink-design estimates?," Empirical Economics, Springer, vol. 53(3), pages 1287-1322, November.
    9. Hansen, Benjamin & Nguyen, Tuan & Waddell, Glen R., 2017. "Benefit Generosity and Injury Duration: Quasi-Experimental Evidence from Regression Kinks," IZA Discussion Papers 10621, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    10. Allers, Maarten A. & Vermeulen, Wouter, 2016. "Capitalization of equalizing grants and the flypaper effect," Regional Science and Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 58(C), pages 115-129.
    11. Sarah Bana & Kelly Bedard & Maya Rossin-Slater, 2018. "The Impacts of Paid Family Leave Benefits: Regression Kink Evidence from California Administrative Data," NBER Working Papers 24438, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    12. repec:spr:ecogov:v:18:y:2017:i:3:d:10.1007_s10101-017-0194-8 is not listed on IDEAS
    13. Ganong, Peter & Jäger, Simon, 2014. "A Permutation Test and Estimation Alternatives for the Regression Kink Design," IZA Discussion Papers 8282, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    14. repec:hrv:faseco:34222894 is not listed on IDEAS
    15. Sebastian Garmann, 2014. "The causal effect of coalition governments on fiscal policies: evidence from a Regression Kink Design," Applied Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 46(36), pages 4490-4507, December.
    16. Baskaran, Thushyanthan, 2014. "Bailouts and austerity," Center for European, Governance and Economic Development Research Discussion Papers 212, University of Goettingen, Department of Economics.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Fiscal federalism; intergovernmental grants; public employment; regression kink design; instrumental variables;

    JEL classification:

    • C33 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Multiple or Simultaneous Equation Models; Multiple Variables - - - Models with Panel Data; Spatio-temporal Models
    • H11 - Public Economics - - Structure and Scope of Government - - - Structure and Scope of Government
    • H70 - Public Economics - - State and Local Government; Intergovernmental Relations - - - General
    • J45 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Particular Labor Markets - - - Public Sector Labor Markets

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