IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/p/igi/igierp/644.html
   My bibliography  Save this paper

Revenue vs Expenditure Based Fiscal Consolidation: The Pass-Trough from Federal Cuts to Local Taxes

Author

Listed:
  • Luigi Marattin
  • Tommaso Nannicini
  • Francesco Porcelli

Abstract

A growing literature emphasizes that the output effect of fiscal consolidation hinges on its composition, as the choice of increasing revenues vs cutting expenditure is not neutral. Existing studies, however, underscore the role of local governments in a federal setting. Indeed, transfer cuts at the central level might translate into higher local taxes, changing the effective composition of the fiscal adjustment. We evaluate this transmission mechanism in Italy, where municipalities below the threshold of 5,000 inhabitants were exempted from (large) transfer cuts in 2012. This allows us to implement a difference-in-discontinuities design in order to estimate the causal impact of transfer cuts on the composition of fiscal adjustment, also because tight fiscal rules impose a balanced budget on Italian municipalities. We disclose a pass-through mechanism by which local governments react to the contraction of intergovernmental grants by mainly increasing taxes rather than reducing spending. From a political economy perspective, this revenue based fiscal consolidation is driven by municipalities with low electoral competition and low party fragmentation. Keywords: fiscal consolidation, intergovernmental grants, difference-in-discontinuities. JEL classification codes: H2, H77, H87, D7.

Suggested Citation

  • Luigi Marattin & Tommaso Nannicini & Francesco Porcelli, 2019. "Revenue vs Expenditure Based Fiscal Consolidation: The Pass-Trough from Federal Cuts to Local Taxes," Working Papers 644, IGIER (Innocenzo Gasparini Institute for Economic Research), Bocconi University.
  • Handle: RePEc:igi:igierp:644
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: ftp://ftp.igier.unibocconi.it/wp/2019/644.pdf
    Download Restriction: no

    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Bracco, Emanuele & Lockwood, Ben & Porcelli, Francesco & Redoano, Michela, 2015. "Intergovernmental grants as signals and the alignment effect: Theory and evidence," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 123(C), pages 78-91.
    2. Adi Brender & Allan Drazen, 2005. "Political Budget Cycles in New versus Established Democracies," Bank of Israel Working Papers 2005.04, Bank of Israel.
    3. Brender, Adi & Drazen, Allan, 2005. "Political budget cycles in new versus established democracies," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 52(7), pages 1271-1295, October.
    4. Per Tovmo & Torberg Falch, 2002. "The flypaper effect and political strength," Economics of Governance, Springer, vol. 3(2), pages 153-170, July.
    5. Elena Gennari & Giovanna Messina, 2014. "How sticky are local expenditures in Italy? Assessing the relevance of the flypaper effect through municipal data," International Tax and Public Finance, Springer;International Institute of Public Finance, vol. 21(2), pages 324-344, April.
    6. Brender, Adi, 2003. "The effect of fiscal performance on local government election results in Israel: 1989-1998," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 87(9-10), pages 2187-2205, September.
    7. Erceg, Christopher J. & Lindé, Jesper, 2013. "Fiscal consolidation in a currency union: Spending cuts vs. tax hikes," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 37(2), pages 422-445.
    8. Drazen, Allan & Eslava, Marcela, 2010. "Electoral manipulation via voter-friendly spending: Theory and evidence," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 92(1), pages 39-52, May.
    9. Bailey, Stephen J & Connolly, Stephen, 1998. "The Flypaper Effect: Identifying Areas for Further Research," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 95(3-4), pages 335-361, June.
    10. Emanuele Bracco & Benjamin Lockwood & Francesco Porcelli & Michela Redoano, 2015. "Intergovernmental Grants as Signals and the Alignment Effect: Theory and Evidence," CESifo Working Paper Series 5215, CESifo.
    11. Levaggi, Rosella & Zanola, Roberto, 2003. "Flypaper Effect and Sluggishness: Evidence from Regional Health Expenditure in Italy," International Tax and Public Finance, Springer;International Institute of Public Finance, vol. 10(5), pages 535-547, September.
    12. Gemmell, Norman & Morrissey, Oliver & Pinar, Abuzer, 2002. "Fiscal Illusion and Political Accountability: Theory and Evidence from Two Local Tax Regimes in Britain," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 110(3-4), pages 199-224, March.
    13. Alberto Alesina & Roberto Perotti & José Tavares, 1998. "The Political Economy of Fiscal Adjustments," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 29(1), pages 197-266.
    14. Gabriella Legrenzi & Costas Milas, 2006. "Asymmetric and Non-Linear Adjustments in Local Fiscal Policy," Keele Economics Research Papers KERP 2006/16, Centre for Economic Research, Keele University.
    15. Skidmore, Mark, 1999. "Tax and Expenditure Limitations and the Fiscal Relationships between State and Local Governments," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 99(1-2), pages 77-102, April.
    16. Andrew C. Eggers & Ronny Freier & Veronica Grembi & Tommaso Nannicini, 2018. "Regression Discontinuity Designs Based on Population Thresholds: Pitfalls and Solutions," American Journal of Political Science, John Wiley & Sons, vol. 62(1), pages 210-229, January.
    17. Case, Anne C. & Rosen, Harvey S. & Hines, James Jr., 1993. "Budget spillovers and fiscal policy interdependence : Evidence from the states," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 52(3), pages 285-307, October.
    18. Decio Coviello & Immacolata Marino & Tommaso Nannicini & Nicola Persico, 2017. "Direct Propagation of a Fiscal Shock: Evidence from Italy's Stability Pact," CSEF Working Papers 484, Centre for Studies in Economics and Finance (CSEF), University of Naples, Italy.
    19. Brian Knight, 2002. "Endogenous Federal Grants and Crowd-out of State Government Spending: Theory and Evidence from the Federal Highway Aid Program," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 92(1), pages 71-92, March.
    20. Yang, Weonho & Fidrmuc, Jan & Ghosh, Sugata, 2015. "Macroeconomic effects of fiscal adjustment: A tale of two approaches," Journal of International Money and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 57(C), pages 31-60.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    Citations

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


    Cited by:

    1. Gianmarco Daniele & Tommaso Giommoni, 2019. "Corruption under Austerity," BAFFI CAREFIN Working Papers 19131, BAFFI CAREFIN, Centre for Applied Research on International Markets Banking Finance and Regulation, Universita' Bocconi, Milano, Italy.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • H2 - Public Economics - - Taxation, Subsidies, and Revenue
    • H77 - Public Economics - - State and Local Government; Intergovernmental Relations - - - Intergovernmental Relations; Federalism
    • H87 - Public Economics - - Miscellaneous Issues - - - International Fiscal Issues; International Public Goods
    • D7 - Microeconomics - - Analysis of Collective Decision-Making

    NEP fields

    This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:

    Statistics

    Access and download statistics

    Corrections

    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:igi:igierp:644. 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: http://www.igier.unibocconi.it/ .

    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.