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Fiscal Rules for Sub-central Governments: Design and Impact


  • Douglas Sutherland
  • Robert W. R. Price
  • Isabelle Joumard


Against a background of mounting demands for spending on services provided by sub-central governments, this paper examines how fiscal rules can help to ensure that pressure on resources is minimised and available resources are used efficiently. Drawing on questionnaire responses and other sources, this paper gives a detailed picture of fiscal rules for sub-central governments in place among a number of OECD countries. The paper examines the rationales for using fiscal rules, the various impacts fiscal rules can have, the factors making for effective implementation and the interactions between the various types of rule. It then constructs a number of synthetic sub-indicators designed to assess the extent to which sub-central government fiscal frameworks exhibit favourable characteristics for the achievement of fiscal objectives. It concludes with the construction of a composite indicator based on the combined impacts in the different areas of fiscal policy. Règles budgétaires des collectivités territoriales : Leurs caractéristiques et leur impact Face à l’augmentation des dépenses au titre des services assurés par les collectivités territoriales, cette étude examine comment les règles budgétaires peuvent contribuer à atténuer les pressions sur les ressources et à garantir une utilisation efficiente des ressources disponibles. S’appuyant sur les réponses à des questionnaires et sur d’autres sources, elle présente une description détaillée des règles budgétaires applicables aux collectivités territoriales dans plusieurs pays de l’OCDE. Elle analyse les raisons qui motivent l’utilisation de règles budgétaires, les divers effets que ces règles peuvent avoir, les facteurs qui contribuent à l’efficacité de leur mise en œuvre et les interactions entre les divers types de règles. Un certain nombre d’indicateurs synthétiques sont ensuite élaborés dans le but de déterminer dans quelle mesure les règles budgétaires des collectivités territoriales présentent des caractéristiques favorisant la réalisation des objectifs de finances publiques. L’étude s’achève par la construction d’un indicateur composite des effets combinés dans les différents domaines de la politique budgétaire.

Suggested Citation

  • Douglas Sutherland & Robert W. R. Price & Isabelle Joumard, 2005. "Fiscal Rules for Sub-central Governments: Design and Impact," OECD Economics Department Working Papers 465, OECD Publishing.
  • Handle: RePEc:oec:ecoaaa:465-en

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    collectivités territoriales; discipline budgétaire; fiscal discipline; fiscal rules; indicateurs; indicators; règles budgétaires; sub-central governments;

    JEL classification:

    • C43 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Econometric and Statistical Methods: Special Topics - - - Index Numbers and Aggregation
    • D78 - Microeconomics - - Analysis of Collective Decision-Making - - - Positive Analysis of Policy Formulation and Implementation
    • H71 - Public Economics - - State and Local Government; Intergovernmental Relations - - - State and Local Taxation, Subsidies, and Revenue
    • H72 - Public Economics - - State and Local Government; Intergovernmental Relations - - - State and Local Budget and Expenditures
    • H74 - Public Economics - - State and Local Government; Intergovernmental Relations - - - State and Local Borrowing
    • H81 - Public Economics - - Miscellaneous Issues - - - Governmental Loans; Loan Guarantees; Credits; Grants; Bailouts

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