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Intergovernmental Relations and Fiscal Discipline: Between Commons and Soft Budget Constraints

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  • Mr. Guiseppe Pisauro

Abstract

Fiscal decentralization is likely to entail a bias in the budget process toward higher public expenses and deficits. The paper reviews lessons drawn from the theoretical literature and international experience on the design of intergovernmental relations. The institutional setup should address the dual problem of "common tax resources" and "soft" budget constraints, where policies devised to correct one problem may exacerbate the other. An approach based on full tax autonomy of lower-tier governments and reliance on market discipline, not supplemented by self-imposed constitutional limits, is not advisable. More effective seems to be a cooperative approach with some preeminence granted to the central government.

Suggested Citation

  • Mr. Guiseppe Pisauro, 2001. "Intergovernmental Relations and Fiscal Discipline: Between Commons and Soft Budget Constraints," IMF Working Papers 2001/065, International Monetary Fund.
  • Handle: RePEc:imf:imfwpa:2001/065
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    2. Giuriato, Luisa & Gastaldi, Francesca, 2008. "The Domestic Stability Pact: Assessment of the Italian experience and comparison with the other EMU countries," MPRA Paper 14455, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    3. Jürgen Rüttgers & Georg Milbradt & Helmut Seitz & Max Groneck & Wolfgang Kitterer & Markus C. Kerber, 2007. "Überschuldete Bundesländer: Ist die Einführung eindeutiger Verschuldungsgrenzen sinnvoll?," ifo Schnelldienst, ifo Institute - Leibniz Institute for Economic Research at the University of Munich, vol. 60(02), pages 03-19, January.
    4. Bird, Richard M. & Smart, Michael, 2002. "Intergovernmental Fiscal Transfers: International Lessons for Developing Countries," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 30(6), pages 899-912, June.
    5. Fiorenza Venturini, 2018. "The Unintended Composition Effect of the Subnational Government Fiscal Rules: The Case of Italian Municipalities," Working papers 70, Società Italiana di Economia Pubblica.
    6. Sergey Sinelnikov & Pavel Kadochnikov & Ilya Trunin & Sergey Chetverikov & Marianne Vigneault, 2006. "Fiscal Federalism in Russia: Soft Budget Constraints of Regional Governments," Published Papers 47, Gaidar Institute for Economic Policy, revised 2012.
    7. Giuriato, Luisa & Gastaldi, Francesca, 2009. "The domestic stability pact in Italy: a rule for discipline?," MPRA Paper 15183, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    8. Julia Darby & Anton Muscatelli & Graeme Roy, 2006. "Asymmetries in the Responses of Sub-Central Governments to Changes in Grants: Evidence From an Event Study," ERSA conference papers ersa06p508, European Regional Science Association.
    9. Maria EL KHDARI, 2015. "Déterminants des transferts intergouvernementaux : le cas des communes Marocaines," Working Papers 201531, CERDI.
    10. Flodén, Martin, 2013. "A role model for the conduct of fiscal policy? Experiences from Sweden," Journal of International Money and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 34(C), pages 177-197.
    11. L. Mauro & C. Buiatti & G. Carmeci, 2012. "The Origins of the Sovereign Debt of Italy: a Common Pool Issue?," Working Paper CRENoS 201212, Centre for North South Economic Research, University of Cagliari and Sassari, Sardinia.
    12. James Foreman-Peck & Laurian Lungu & Patrick Minford, 2000. "Fiscal Devolution in a Small Open Regional Economy," Regional and Urban Modeling 283600029, EcoMod.
    13. Santiago Lago-Peñas & Agnese Sacchi & Pablo Simon-Cosano, 2014. "Who honor the rules of federalism? Party system nationalization and fiscal performance," Working Papers. Collection A: Public economics, governance and decentralization 1409, Universidade de Vigo, GEN - Governance and Economics research Network.
    14. Giannola, Adriano & Petraglia, Carmelo & Scalera, Domenico, 2016. "Net fiscal flows and interregional redistribution in Italy: A long-run perspective (1951–2010)," Structural Change and Economic Dynamics, Elsevier, vol. 39(C), pages 1-16.
    15. Sharma, Chanchal Kumar, 2007. "Rescuing the concept of vertical fiscal imbalance," MPRA Paper 39343, University Library of Munich, Germany, revised 2010.
    16. Barra, Cristian & Bimonte, Giovanna & Spennati, Pietro, 2014. "The common pool problem of intergovernmental interactions," MPRA Paper 57062, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    17. Eyraud, Luc & Lusinyan, Lusine, 2013. "Vertical fiscal imbalances and fiscal performance in advanced economies," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 60(5), pages 571-587.
    18. Julia Darby & V. Anton Muscatelli & Graeme Roy, "undated". "How do Sub-Central Government react to cuts in grants received from Central Governments Evidence from a Panel of 15 OECD Countries," Working Papers 2005_18, Business School - Economics, University of Glasgow, revised Jun 2005.
    19. Paolo Liberati, 2011. "Financing Regions and Local Governments: Problems and Perspectives," QA - Rivista dell'Associazione Rossi-Doria, Associazione Rossi Doria, issue 1, March.

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