IDEAS home Printed from
   My bibliography  Save this paper

Local spending and the housing boom


  • Albert Solé-Ollé

    () (Universitat de Barcelona & IEB)

  • Elisabet Viladecans-Marsal

    () (Universitat de Barcelona & IEB)


We study the inter-temporal spending behavior of Spanish local governments during the last housing boom (1997-2006), a period of substantial short-run momentum in housing-construction revenues. We argue that the unprecedented growth in these revenues might be one of the reasons underlying the increase in the sensitivity of local government spending to (predictable) revenue changes. To detect evidence of this, we study whether local spending decisions are consistent with forward-looking behavior, working within the framework provided by Holtz-Eakin et al. (1994). Our principal findings are: (i) Local spending shows substantial sensitivity to predictable changes in revenues, suggesting that Spanish local governments did not behave as fully forward-looking agents. (ii) The departure from this benchmark was much higher in those years and/or in those housing markets in which the housing boom was most intense. (iii) The sensitivity was not as great to changes in housing construction revenues as it was to changes in ordinary revenues, but this distinction became blurred as the boom intensified.

Suggested Citation

  • Albert Solé-Ollé & Elisabet Viladecans-Marsal, 2011. "Local spending and the housing boom," Working Papers 2011/27, Institut d'Economia de Barcelona (IEB).
  • Handle: RePEc:ieb:wpaper:2011/11/doc2011-27

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL:
    Download Restriction: no

    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Alberto Alesina & Filipe R. Campante & Guido Tabellini, 2008. "Why is Fiscal Policy Often Procyclical?," Journal of the European Economic Association, MIT Press, vol. 6(5), pages 1006-1036, September.
    2. Hall, Robert E, 1978. "Stochastic Implications of the Life Cycle-Permanent Income Hypothesis: Theory and Evidence," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 86(6), pages 971-987, December.
    3. Hansen, Lars Peter & Singleton, Kenneth J, 1983. "Stochastic Consumption, Risk Aversion, and the Temporal Behavior of Asset Returns," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 91(2), pages 249-265, April.
    4. Holtz-Eakin, Douglas & Newey, Whitney & Rosen, Harvey S, 1989. "The Revenues-Expenditures Nexus: Evidence from Local Government Data," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 30(2), pages 415-429, May.
    5. Solé-Ollé, Albert & Viladecans-Marsal, Elisabet, 2012. "Lobbying, political competition, and local land supply: Recent evidence from Spain," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 96(1), pages 10-19.
    6. María José Luengo-Prado & Bent E. Sørensen, 2008. "What Can Explain Excess Smoothness and Sensitivity of State-Level Consumption?," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 90(1), pages 65-80, February.
    7. Talvi, Ernesto & Vegh, Carlos A., 2005. "Tax base variability and procyclical fiscal policy in developing countries," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 78(1), pages 156-190, October.
    8. Albert Solé-Ollé & Pilar Sorribas-Navarro, 2012. "The dynamic adjustment of local government budgets: does Spain behave differently?," Applied Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 44(25), pages 3203-3213, September.
    9. Buettner, Thiess & Wildasin, David E., 2006. "The dynamics of municipal fiscal adjustment," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 90(6-7), pages 1115-1132, August.
    10. Luigi Giamboni & Emanuele Millemaci & Robert J. Waldmann, 2013. "Evaluating how predictable errors in expected income affect consumption," Applied Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 45(28), pages 4004-4021, October.
    11. Robert J. Shiller, 2007. "Understanding recent trends in house prices and homeownership," Proceedings - Economic Policy Symposium - Jackson Hole, Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City, pages 89-123.
    12. Ben Dachis & Gilles Duranton & Matthew A. Turner, 2012. "The effects of land transfer taxes on real estate markets: evidence from a natural experiment in Toronto," Journal of Economic Geography, Oxford University Press, vol. 12(2), pages 327-354, March.
    13. Campbell, John Y & Mankiw, N Gregory, 1990. "Permanent Income, Current Income, and Consumption," Journal of Business & Economic Statistics, American Statistical Association, vol. 8(3), pages 265-279, July.
    14. Andreas Fuster & David Laibson & Brock Mendel, 2010. "Natural Expectations and Macroeconomic Fluctuations," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 24(4), pages 67-84, Fall.
    15. Edward L. Glaeser & Joshua D. Gottlieb & Joseph Gyourko, 2012. "Can Cheap Credit Explain the Housing Boom?," NBER Chapters,in: Housing and the Financial Crisis, pages 301-359 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    16. Shefrin, Hersh M & Thaler, Richard H, 1988. "The Behavioral Life-Cycle Hypothesis," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 26(4), pages 609-643, October.
    17. Lutz, Byron & Molloy, Raven & Shan, Hui, 2011. "The housing crisis and state and local government tax revenue: Five channels," Regional Science and Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 41(4), pages 306-319, July.
    18. Lars-Erik Borge & Per Tovmo, 2009. "Myopic or Constrained by Balanced-Budget Rules? The Intertemporal Spending Behavior of Norwegian Local Governments," FinanzArchiv: Public Finance Analysis, Mohr Siebeck, Tübingen, vol. 65(2), pages 200-219, June.
    19. Bowsher, Clive G., 2002. "On testing overidentifying restrictions in dynamic panel data models," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 77(2), pages 211-220, October.
    20. Doerner, William M. & Ihlanfeldt, Keith R., 2011. "House prices and city revenues," Regional Science and Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 41(4), pages 332-342, July.
    21. Skidmore, Mark & Scorsone, Eric, 2011. "Causes and consequences of fiscal stress in Michigan cities," Regional Science and Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 41(4), pages 360-371, July.
    22. Holtz-Eakin, Douglas & Rosen, Harvey S, 1991. "Municipal Labor Demand in the Presence of Uncertainty: An Econometric Approach," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 9(3), pages 276-293, July.
    23. Craig, Steven G. & Hoang, Edward C., 2011. "State government response to income fluctuations: Consumption, insurance, and capital expenditures," Regional Science and Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 41(4), pages 343-351, July.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)


    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.

    Cited by:

    1. Persson, Lovisa, 2013. "Consumption smoothing in a balanced budget regim," Working Paper Series 2013:19, Uppsala University, Department of Economics.

    More about this item


    local government; inter-temporal spending behavior; housing cycle;

    JEL classification:

    • D91 - Microeconomics - - Micro-Based Behavioral Economics - - - Role and Effects of Psychological, Emotional, Social, and Cognitive Factors on Decision Making
    • H72 - Public Economics - - State and Local Government; Intergovernmental Relations - - - State and Local Budget and Expenditures


    Access and download statistics


    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:ieb:wpaper:2011/11/doc2011-27. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (). General contact details of provider: .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If CitEc recognized a reference but did not link an item in RePEc to it, you can help with this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.