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Fiscal Federalism in Europe: Lessons From the United States Experience

  • Robert P. Inman
  • Daniel L. Rubinfeld
Registered author(s):

    The existing political and legal institutions of fiscal policy-making are under challenge. As the United States and the eastern European and Soviet states experiment with policy decentralization, the states of western Europe are looking to a more centralized policy structure via the E.E.C.. This paper seeks to raise issues of importance to all such reform efforts--notably, the need to consider, and balance, the inefficiencies of fiscal policy decentralization (spillovers and wasteful fiscal competition) against the inefficiencies of fiscal policy centralization (policy cycles and localized 'pork barrel' spending and taxes). The need to develop new fiscal policy institutions emphasizing voluntary agreements and responsive 'agenda-setters' is stressed.

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    File URL: http://www.nber.org/papers/w3941.pdf
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    Paper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 3941.

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    Date of creation: Dec 1991
    Date of revision:
    Publication status: published as European Economic Review, Vol. 36, 1992, 654-660.
    Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:3941
    Note: PE
    Contact details of provider: Postal: National Bureau of Economic Research, 1050 Massachusetts Avenue Cambridge, MA 02138, U.S.A.
    Phone: 617-868-3900
    Web page: http://www.nber.org
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    1. Scott J. Brown & N. Edward Coulson & Robert F. Engle, 1990. "Non-Cointegration and Econometric Evaluation of Models of Regional Shift and Share," NBER Working Papers 3291, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    2. Hart, Oliver, 1982. "A Model of Imperfect Competition with Keynesian Features," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 97(1), pages 109-38, February.
    3. Nouriel Roubini & Jeffrey Sachs, 1988. "Political and Economic Determinants of Budget Deficits in the IndustrialDemocracies," NBER Working Papers 2682, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    4. Bernard, A.B. & Durlauf, S.N., 1993. "Convergence in International Output," Working papers 93-7, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Department of Economics.
    5. Roubini, Nouriel & Sachs, Jeffrey D., 1989. "Political and economic determinants of budget deficits in the industrial democracies," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 33(5), pages 903-933, May.
    6. Sandler, Todd & Murdoch, James C, 1990. "Nash-Cournot or Lindahl Behavior? An Empirical Test for the NATO Allies," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 105(4), pages 875-94, November.
    7. Kolstad, Charles D & Wolak, Frank A, Jr, 1983. "Competition in Interregional Taxation: The Case of Western Coal," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 91(3), pages 443-60, June.
    8. Robin W. Boadway & Frank R. Flatters, 1982. "Efficiency and Equalization Payments in a Federal System of Government: A Synthesis and Extension of Recent Results," Canadian Journal of Economics, Canadian Economics Association, vol. 15(4), pages 613-33, November.
    9. Inman, Robert P & Fitts, Michael A, 1990. "Political Institutions and Fiscal Policy: Evidence from the U.S. Historical Record," Journal of Law, Economics and Organization, Oxford University Press, vol. 6(0), pages 79-132.
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