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Fiscal Federalism in Four Federal Countries

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  • Virkola, Tuomo

Abstract

This paper provides a characterization of the fiscal policy framework in four established federal countries with heterogeneous intergovernmental relations and demographic characteristics: Canada, Germany, Switzerland and the United States. We consider the implications of fiscal federalism from three different perspectives. First, we study the allocation of expenditure responsibilities and revenue generating instruments to different levels of government (federal, state and local) and discuss the role of intergovernmental transfers schemes and fiscal rules in each country. Second, we study the implementation of macroeconomic stabilization policy across different levels of government. Third, we discuss the evidence on the degree of inter-state risk sharing and the role of federal transfers in smoothing regional income shocks in federal countries. We conclude with the main implications to the euro area and to the debate on common fiscal instruments.

Suggested Citation

  • Virkola, Tuomo, 2014. "Fiscal Federalism in Four Federal Countries," ETLA Reports 38, The Research Institute of the Finnish Economy.
  • Handle: RePEc:rif:report:38
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Fiscal federalism; Fiscal union; Risk sharing;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • F45 - International Economics - - Macroeconomic Aspects of International Trade and Finance - - - Macroeconomic Issues of Monetary Unions
    • E62 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Macroeconomic Policy, Macroeconomic Aspects of Public Finance, and General Outlook - - - Fiscal Policy; Modern Monetary Theory
    • H60 - Public Economics - - National Budget, Deficit, and Debt - - - General
    • H70 - Public Economics - - State and Local Government; Intergovernmental Relations - - - General

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