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The dinamic adjustment of local government budgets: does Spain behave differently?


  • Albert Solé-Ollé

    () (Universitat de Barcelona)

  • Pilar Sorribas-Navarro

    () (Universitat de Barcelona)


The aim of this paper is to analyze whether Spanish municipalities adjust in response to budget shocks and (if so) which elements of the budget they are more likely to adjust. The methodology we use to answer these questions is a vector error-correction model (VECM), estimated with data from a panel of Spanish municipalities during the period 1988-2006. Our results confirm, first, that municipalities do indeed make adjustments in response to fiscal shocks (i.e., the deficit is stationary in the long run). Second, we find that most of the adjustment to a revenue shock is borne by the municipalities themselves as they proceed to cut expenditures, with a minor role being played by grant financing. By contrast, adjustments to expenditure shocks are shared on largely equal terms by the municipality –through the raising of taxes– and higher tiers of government –through the raising of grants. These results suggest that the viability of the local finance system is feasible with different institutional arrangements.

Suggested Citation

  • Albert Solé-Ollé & Pilar Sorribas-Navarro, 2009. "The dinamic adjustment of local government budgets: does Spain behave differently?," Working Papers 2009/7, Institut d'Economia de Barcelona (IEB).
  • Handle: RePEc:ieb:wpaper:2009/11/doc2009-7

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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Benny Geys & Federico Revelli, 2011. "Economic and political foundations of local tax structures: an empirical investigation of the tax mix of Flemish municipalities," Environment and Planning C: Government and Policy, Pion Ltd, London, vol. 29(3), pages 410-427, June.
    2. Albert Solé-Ollé & Elisabet Viladecans-Marsal, 2011. "Local spending and the housing boom," Working Papers 2011/27, Institut d'Economia de Barcelona (IEB).
    3. Kappeler, Andreas & Solé-Ollé, Albert & Stephan, Andreas & Välilä, Timo, 2013. "Does fiscal decentralization foster regional investment in productive infrastructure?," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 31(C), pages 15-25.
    4. Jaimes, Richard, 2016. "Estimating Fiscal Adjustments at the Local Level in Colombia," MPRA Paper 75507, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    5. Bessho, Shun-ichiro & Ogawa, Hikaru, 2015. "Fiscal adjustment in Japanese municipalities," Journal of Comparative Economics, Elsevier, vol. 43(4), pages 1053-1068.

    More about this item


    Fiscal adjustment; intergovernmental transfers; local government.;

    JEL classification:

    • H70 - Public Economics - - State and Local Government; Intergovernmental Relations - - - General
    • 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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