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Size, Spillovers and Soft Budget Constraints

Author

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  • Ernesto Crivelli

    () (Max Planck Institute for Research on Collective Goods, Bonn)

  • Klaas Staal

    (University of Bonn)

Abstract

There is much evidence against the so-called "too big to fail" hypothesis in the case of bailouts to subnational governments. We look at a model where districts of different size provide local public goods with positive spillovers. Matching grants of a central government can induce so-cially-efficient provision, but districts can still exploit the intervening central government by induc-ing direct financing. We show that the ability and willingness of a district to induce a bailout and district size are negatively correlated. We also discuss the effect economies of scale in local public goods provision has on the bailout policies and argue that these policies can be subgame perfect equilibrium strategies.

Suggested Citation

  • Ernesto Crivelli & Klaas Staal, 2008. "Size, Spillovers and Soft Budget Constraints," Discussion Paper Series of the Max Planck Institute for Research on Collective Goods 2008_17, Max Planck Institute for Research on Collective Goods.
  • Handle: RePEc:mpg:wpaper:2008_17
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. János Kornai, 2014. "The soft budget constraint," Acta Oeconomica, Akadémiai Kiadó, Hungary, vol. 64(supplemen), pages 25-79, November.
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    3. Alberto Alesina & Enrico Spolaore, 1997. "On the Number and Size of Nations," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 112(4), pages 1027-1056.
    4. 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.
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    8. Pettersson-Lidbom, Per & Dahlberg, Matz, 2003. "An Empirical Approach for Evaluating Soft Budget Constraints," Working Paper Series 2003:28, Uppsala University, Department of Economics.
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    11. Jürgen Von Hagen & Massimo Bordignon & Bhajan S. Grewal & Per Peterson & Helmut Seitz & Matz Dahlberg, 2000. "Subnational Government Bailouts in OECD Countries: Four Case Studies," Research Department Publications 3100, Inter-American Development Bank, Research Department.
    12. Juan Pablo Nicolini & Josefina Posadas & Juan Sanguinetti & Pablo Sanguinetti & Mariano Tommasi, 2002. "Decentralization, Fiscal Discipline in Sub-National Governments and the Bailout Problem: The Case of Argentina," Research Department Publications 3160, Inter-American Development Bank, Research Department.
    13. Massimo Bordignon, 2000. "Problems of Soft Budget Constraints in Intergovernmental Relationships: The Case of Italy," Research Department Publications 3099, Inter-American Development Bank, Research Department.
    14. Besley, Timothy & Coate, Stephen, 2003. "Centralized versus decentralized provision of local public goods: a political economy approach," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 87(12), pages 2611-2637, December.
    15. Inman, Robert P, 1995. "How to Have a Fiscal Crisis: Lessons from Philadelphia," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 85(2), pages 378-383, May.
    16. Caplan, Arthur J. & Cornes, Richard C. & Silva, Emilson C. D., 2000. "Pure public goods and income redistribution in a federation with decentralized leadership and imperfect labor mobility," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 77(2), pages 265-284, August.
    17. Breuille, Marie-Laure & Madies, Thierry & Taugourdeau, Emmanuelle, 2006. "Does tax competition soften regional budget constraint?," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 90(2), pages 230-236, February.
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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Aslim, Erkmen Giray & Neyapti, Bilin, 2017. "Optimal fiscal decentralization: Redistribution and welfare implications," Economic Modelling, Elsevier, vol. 61(C), pages 224-234.
    2. Martin Gregor, 2012. "Modeling positive inter-jurisdictional public spending spillovers," Working Papers IES 2012/16, Charles University Prague, Faculty of Social Sciences, Institute of Economic Studies, revised Jun 2012.
    3. Karolina Kaiser, 2008. "Restricted Bailouts and the Commitment Problem in Federations," Working Papers 062, Bavarian Graduate Program in Economics (BGPE).
    4. Baskaran, Thushyanthan, 2012. "Soft budget constraints and strategic interactions in subnational borrowing: Evidence from the German States, 1975–2005," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 71(1), pages 114-127.
    5. Rosella Levaggi & Francesco Menoncin, 2014. "Health care expenditure decisions in the presence of devolution and equalisation grants," International Journal of Health Economics and Management, Springer, vol. 14(4), pages 355-368, December.
    6. Emilson Silva, 2015. "Efficient earmarking under decentralized fiscal commitments," International Tax and Public Finance, Springer;International Institute of Public Finance, vol. 22(4), pages 683-701, August.
    7. Timothy J. Goodspeed, 2017. "Bailouts and Soft Budget Constraints in Decentralized Government: A Synthesis and Survey of an Alternative View of Intergovernmental Grant Policy," Hacienda Pública Española, IEF, vol. 221(2), pages 113-134, June.
    8. Nadjeschda Arnold & Ray Rees, 2015. "The Sovereign Default Problem in the Eurozone: An Insurance-Based Approach," CESifo Working Paper Series 5389, CESifo Group Munich.
    9. Karolina Kaiser & Emmanuelle Taugourdeau, 2013. "The timing of elections in federations: a disciplining device against soft budget constraints?," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 154(3), pages 197-215, March.
    10. Ananya Kotia & Victor Duarte Lledo, 2016. "Do Subnational Fiscal Rules Foster Fiscal Discipline? New Empirical Evidence from Europe," IMF Working Papers 16/84, International Monetary Fund.
    11. Thushyanthan Baskaran, 2013. "Do bailouts buy votes? Evidence from a panel of Hessian municipalities," Economics of Governance, Springer, vol. 14(3), pages 257-278, August.
    12. Martin Gregor, 2016. "A three-stage model of inter-jurisdictional public spending spillovers," Letters in Spatial and Resource Sciences, Springer, vol. 9(2), pages 201-217, July.
    13. Zarko Kalamov & Klaas Staal, 2016. "Public debt, bailouts, and common bonds," International Tax and Public Finance, Springer;International Institute of Public Finance, vol. 23(4), pages 670-692, August.
    14. Bellofatto, Antonio Andrés & Besfamille, Martín, 2018. "Regional state capacity and the optimal degree of fiscal decentralization," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 159(C), pages 225-243.
    15. Levaggi, Rosella, 2010. "From local to global public goods: How should externalities be represented?," Economic Modelling, Elsevier, vol. 27(5), pages 1040-1042, September.
    16. Nadjeschda Katharina Arnold, 2016. "The Sovereign Default Problem in the Eurozone - Why Limited Liability Resulted in Excessive Debt Accumulation and How Insurance Can Counteract," ifo Beiträge zur Wirtschaftsforschung, ifo Institute - Leibniz Institute for Economic Research at the University of Munich, number 66, March.
    17. repec:spr:ecogov:v:18:y:2017:i:3:d:10.1007_s10101-017-0194-8 is not listed on IDEAS
    18. Aronsson, Thomas & Micheletto, Luca & Sjögren, Tomas, 2014. "A note on public goods in a decentralized fiscal union: Implications of a participation constraint," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 84(C), pages 1-8.
    19. Baskaran, Thushyanthan, 2014. "Bailouts and austerity," Center for European, Governance and Economic Development Research Discussion Papers 212, University of Goettingen, Department of Economics.
    20. repec:ekd:006356:6848 is not listed on IDEAS

    More about this item

    Keywords

    bailouts; soft-budget constraints; district size; spillovers;

    JEL classification:

    • H4 - Public Economics - - Publicly Provided Goods
    • H7 - Public Economics - - State and Local Government; Intergovernmental Relations
    • R1 - Urban, Rural, Regional, Real Estate, and Transportation Economics - - General Regional Economics

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