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State Government Cash and In-kind Benefits: Intergovernmental Fiscal Transfers and Cross-Program Substitution

  • James Marton

    (Martin School of Public Policy and Administration, University of Kentucky)

  • David E. Wildasin

    ()

    (Martin School of Public Policy and Administration and Department of Economics, University of Kentucky)

US states provide both cash and health insurance benefits for the poor, partially financed by fiscal transfers from the Federal government. The 1996 welfare reform drastically reduces Federal support for cash transfers at the margin, lowering the relative price to states of providing benefits to the poor through Medicaid. This paper analyzes the comparative-statics response of state governments to such changes in intergovernmental transfers, showing (in central cases) that they can contribute not only to reductions in state expenditures on cash benefits but to increases in expenditures on Medicaid, whether or not beneficiary populations are mobile among states. Length: 27 pages

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Paper provided by University of Kentucky, Institute for Federalism and Intergovernmental Relations in its series Working Papers with number 2006-01.

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Date of creation: Jan 2006
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:ifr:wpaper:2006-01
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  1. David C. Ribar & Mark O. Wilhelm, 1999. "The Demand for Welfare Generosity," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 81(1), pages 96-108, February.
  2. Peter Lindert, 2004. "Social Spending and Economic Growth," Challenge, M.E. Sharpe, Inc., vol. 47(4), pages 6-16, July.
  3. Brown, Charles C. & Oates, Wallace E., 1987. "Assistance to the poor in a federal system," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 32(3), pages 307-330, April.
  4. Elizabeth T. Powers, 2000. "Block Granting Welfare: Fiscal Impact on the States," Economic Development Quarterly, , vol. 14(4), pages 323-339, November.
  5. Persson, Torsten & Tabellini, Guido, 1999. "Political economics and macroeconomic policy," Handbook of Macroeconomics, in: J. B. Taylor & M. Woodford (ed.), Handbook of Macroeconomics, edition 1, volume 1, chapter 22, pages 1397-1482 Elsevier.
  6. Chernick, Howard, 2000. "Federal Grants and Social Welfare Spending: Do State Responses Matter?," National Tax Journal, National Tax Association, vol. 53(n. 1), pages 143-52, March.
  7. Robert A. Moffitt, 2003. "Means-Tested Transfer Programs in the United States," NBER Books, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc, number moff03-1, June.
  8. Robert Moffitt, 1988. "Has State Redistribution Policy Grown More Conservative?," NBER Working Papers 2516, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  9. Wilson, John Douglas, 1999. "Theories of Tax Competition," National Tax Journal, National Tax Association, vol. 52(n. 2), pages 269-304, June.
  10. Wilson, John Douglas & Wildasin, David E., 2004. "Capital tax competition: bane or boon," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 88(6), pages 1065-1091, June.
  11. Howard Chernick, 1998. "Fiscal Effects of Block Grants for the Needy: An Interpretation of the Evidence," International Tax and Public Finance, Springer, vol. 5(2), pages 205-233, May.
  12. Wallis, John Joseph, 1984. "The Birth of the Old Federalism: Financing the New Deal, 1932–1940," The Journal of Economic History, Cambridge University Press, vol. 44(01), pages 139-159, March.
  13. Bahl, Roy & Martinez-Vazquez, Jorge & Wallace, Sally, 2002. "State and Local Government Choices in Fiscal Redistribution," National Tax Journal, National Tax Association, vol. 55(4), pages 723-42, December.
  14. Baicker, Katherine, 2001. "Government decision-making and the incidence of federal mandates," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 82(2), pages 147-194, November.
  15. Wildasin, David E, 1991. "Income Redistribution in a Common Labor Market," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 81(4), pages 757-74, September.
  16. Jan K. Brueckner, 1999. "Welfare Reform and the Race to the Bottom: Theory and Evidence," Southern Economic Journal, Southern Economic Association, vol. 66(2), pages 505-525, January.
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