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Spatial convergence in public expenditure across Indian states: Implication of federal transfers

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  • Sandhya Garg

    (Indira Gandhi Institute of Development Research)

Abstract

India, a quasi federal structure specifies the provisions of federal transfers to subnational governments to cushion their inadequate expenditure capacity. Observing this provision of federal transfers and large disparities in real per capita expenditure, the present study explores evidence of convergence in total real per capita expenditure and its three categories: education, health and development expenditure across Indian states. Results show that there exists conditional convergence in all expenditure categories. Federal transfers are helping to equalize the level of per capita expenditure across sub national governments. It is important to note that, not all types of federal transfers have equal impact on expenditure growth due to their varying distribution criteria. Formula transfers, devolved based on a composite formula, seem to be expenditure augmenting more than discretionary components of the federal transfers. The former category also ensures faster convergence as compared to the latter. Literature on strategic interaction among different jurisdiction indicates that public expenditure in one jurisdiction is not independent of public expenditure of neighbouring jurisdictions. Using the spatial econometrics approach, this study analyses such spillover effect in public expenditure. Econometric estimates suggest significant spatial spillovers which extend beyond the borders of state and effect expenditure growth in other states. Results are robust to various model specifications.

Suggested Citation

  • Sandhya Garg, 2015. "Spatial convergence in public expenditure across Indian states: Implication of federal transfers," Indira Gandhi Institute of Development Research, Mumbai Working Papers 2015-028, Indira Gandhi Institute of Development Research, Mumbai, India.
  • Handle: RePEc:ind:igiwpp:2015-028
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    File URL: http://www.igidr.ac.in/pdf/publication/WP-2015-028.pdf
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    Cited by:

    1. Ramesh Chandra Das & Enrico Ivaldi, 2020. "Growth and Convergence of Social Sectors’ Expenditure in Indian States: Upshots from Neoclassical Growth and Panel Unit Roots Models," Journal of Infrastructure Development, India Development Foundation, vol. 12(1), pages 69-83, June.

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    India; public expenditure; convergence; federal transfers; spatial econometrics; political economy;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • C23 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Single Equation Models; Single Variables - - - Models with Panel Data; Spatio-temporal Models
    • H72 - Public Economics - - State and Local Government; Intergovernmental Relations - - - State and Local Budget and Expenditures
    • H77 - Public Economics - - State and Local Government; Intergovernmental Relations - - - Intergovernmental Relations; Federalism
    • R12 - Urban, Rural, Regional, Real Estate, and Transportation Economics - - General Regional Economics - - - Size and Spatial Distributions of Regional Economic Activity; Interregional Trade (economic geography)

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