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State and Local Government Finance in the Current Crisis: Time for Emergency Federal Relief?

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  • David Wildasin

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

Abstract

A review of recent fiscal history can help to understand the mechanisms by which subnational governments adapt their tax, expenditure, and debt policies to an ever-changing economic environment, and on the role of fiscal assistance from higher-level governments in this process. In principle, proposed Federal assistance to states and localities may provide useful macroeconomic stimulus and financial support, but past experience, in the US and elsewhere, highlights the pitfalls in achieving rapid delivery of substantial assistance while simultaneously targeting scarce fiscal resources to the most urgent needs and preserving incentives for prudent financial management by states and localities.

Suggested Citation

  • David Wildasin, 2009. "State and Local Government Finance in the Current Crisis: Time for Emergency Federal Relief?," Working Papers 2009-07, University of Kentucky, Institute for Federalism and Intergovernmental Relations.
  • Handle: RePEc:ifr:wpaper:2009-07
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    File URL: http://www.ifigr.org/publication/ifir_working_papers/IFIR-WP-2009-07.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Wallace E. Oates, 2006. "On the Theory and Practice of Fiscal Decentralization," Working Papers 2006-05, University of Kentucky, Institute for Federalism and Intergovernmental Relations.
    2. Wildasin, David E., 1997. "Externalities and bailouts : hard and soft budget constraints in intergovernmental fiscal relations," Policy Research Working Paper Series 1843, The World Bank.
    3. Wildasin, David E., 2004. "The Institutions of Federalism: Toward an Analytical Framework," National Tax Journal, National Tax Association, vol. 57(2), pages 247-272, June.
    4. Edward M. Gramlich, 1978. "State and Local Budgets the Day after It Rained: Why Is the Surplus So High?," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 9(1), pages 191-216.
    5. William H. Hoyt & J. William Harden, 2005. "MSA Location and the Impact of State Taxes on Employment and Population: A Comparison of Border and Interior MSA's," Working Papers 2005-01, University of Kentucky, Institute for Federalism and Intergovernmental Relations.
    6. Thiess Buettner, 2007. "Equalization Transfers and Dynamic Fiscal Adjustment: Results for German Municipalities and a US-German Comparison," Working Papers 2007-07, University of Kentucky, Institute for Federalism and Intergovernmental Relations.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • H7 - Public Economics - - State and Local Government; Intergovernmental Relations
    • G01 - Financial Economics - - General - - - Financial Crises

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