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The flypaper effect: evidence from a natural experiment in Hesse

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  • Baskaran, Thushyanthan

Abstract

Theory suggests that transfers should have an effect on local fiscal policy that is similar to an equivalent increase in local incomes. Yet much of the empirical literature shows that local governments use transfers primarily to increase expenditures. Recent contributions have revisited this so called flypaper effect by using quasi-experimental methods, and some have found that the evidence for the flypaper effect dissipates once endogeneity of transfer receipts is accounted for. This paper contributes to the growing body of quasi-experimental research on the flypaper effect by exploiting a natural experiment in the German state of Hesse. Using discontinuities in the Hessian municipal transfer allocation formula to construct a set of instruments for municipal transfer receipts during the 2001-2010 period, it provides strong evidence in favor of the flypaper effect.

Suggested Citation

  • Baskaran, Thushyanthan, 2012. "The flypaper effect: evidence from a natural experiment in Hesse," MPRA Paper 37144, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  • Handle: RePEc:pra:mprapa:37144
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    File URL: https://mpra.ub.uni-muenchen.de/37144/1/MPRA_paper_37144.pdf
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    Cited by:

    1. repec:kap:itaxpf:v:24:y:2017:i:2:d:10.1007_s10797-016-9419-y is not listed on IDEAS
    2. Baskaran, Thushyanthan & Lopes da Fonseca, Mariana, 2016. "Electoral competition and endogenous political institutions: Quasi-experimental evidence from Germany," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 122(C), pages 43-61.
    3. Thushyanthan Baskaran & Zohal Hessami, 2017. "Political alignment and intergovernmental transfers in parliamentary systems: evidence from Germany," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 171(1), pages 75-98, April.
    4. 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.
    5. Philippe Cyrenne & Manish Pandey, 2015. "Fiscal equalization, government expenditures and endogenous growth," International Tax and Public Finance, Springer;International Institute of Public Finance, vol. 22(2), pages 311-329, April.
    6. Baskaran, Thushyanthan & Lopes da Fonseca, Mariana, 2013. "Electoral thresholds and political outcomes: Quasi-experimental evidence from a reform in Germany," Center for European, Governance and Economic Development Research Discussion Papers 177, University of Goettingen, Department of Economics.
    7. Zareh Asatryan & Thushyanthan Baskaran & Theocharis Grigoriadis & Friedrich Heinemann, 2017. "Direct Democracy and Local Public Finances under Cooperative Federalism," Scandinavian Journal of Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 119(3), pages 801-820, July.
    8. Baskaran, Thushyanthan, 2014. "Bailouts and austerity," Center for European, Governance and Economic Development Research Discussion Papers 212, University of Goettingen, Department of Economics.
    9. Baskaran, Thushyanthan, 2013. "Identifying local tax mimicking: Administrative borders and a policy reform," Center for European, Governance and Economic Development Research Discussion Papers 157, University of Goettingen, Department of Economics.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Equalization transfers; Local fiscal policy; Population thresholds;

    JEL classification:

    • H70 - Public Economics - - State and Local Government; Intergovernmental Relations - - - General
    • H72 - Public Economics - - State and Local Government; Intergovernmental Relations - - - State and Local Budget and Expenditures
    • H71 - Public Economics - - State and Local Government; Intergovernmental Relations - - - State and Local Taxation, Subsidies, and Revenue

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