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Federal Transfers and Fiscal Discipline in India: An Empirical Evaluation

  • Bhatt, Antra

    (Università di Roma Tor Vergata)

  • Scaramozzino, Pasquale

    (University of London)

This paper examines the relationship between federal transfers and fiscal deficits in India. The system of federal transfers has been criticized on the grounds that it distorts the incentives for states to promote fiscal discipline. We analyze the relationship between transfers, state domestic product, and fiscal deficit for a panel of states during the period 1990–2010. The paper finds a positive long-run relationship and bi-directional causality between primary/gross fiscal deficits and non-plan transfers. Further, a negative long-run relationship and one-way causality between state domestic product and transfers is observed, with causality going from state product to transfers. These results are confirmed by multi-variate cointegration analysis, which finds a long-run relationship between fiscal transfers, state product per capita and the primary deficit of the states. The evidence in the paper is consistent with the system of fiscal transfers being “gap- filling.”

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Paper provided by Asian Development Bank in its series ADB Economics Working Paper Series with number 343.

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Length: 20 pages
Date of creation: 31 Mar 2013
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:ris:adbewp:0343
Note: http://www.adb.org/sites/default/files/pub/2013/economics-wp-343-federal-transfers-fiscal-discipline-india.pdf
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  1. Levin, Andrew & Lin, Chien-Fu & James Chu, Chia-Shang, 2002. "Unit root tests in panel data: asymptotic and finite-sample properties," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 108(1), pages 1-24, May.
  2. Im, Kyung So & Pesaran, M. Hashem & Shin, Yongcheol, 2003. "Testing for unit roots in heterogeneous panels," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 115(1), pages 53-74, July.
  3. Zivot, Eric & Andrews, Donald W K, 2002. "Further Evidence on the Great Crash, the Oil-Price Shock, and the Unit-Root Hypothesis," Journal of Business & Economic Statistics, American Statistical Association, vol. 20(1), pages 25-44, January.
  4. R. Nagaraj & A. Varoudakis & M.-A. Véganzonès, 2000. "Long-run growth trends and convergence across Indian States," Journal of International Development, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 12(1), pages 45-70.
  5. Kaddour Hadri, 1999. "Testing For Stationarity In Heterogeneous Panel Data," Research Papers 1999_04, University of Liverpool Management School.
  6. Robin Boadway & Anwar Shah, 2007. "Intergovernmental Fiscal Transfers : Principles and Practice," World Bank Publications, The World Bank, number 7171.
  7. Kremers, Jeroen J M & Ericsson, Neil R & Dolado, Juan J, 1992. "The Power of Cointegration Tests," Oxford Bulletin of Economics and Statistics, Department of Economics, University of Oxford, vol. 54(3), pages 325-48, August.
  8. Joakim Westerlund, 2007. "Testing for Error Correction in Panel Data," Oxford Bulletin of Economics and Statistics, Department of Economics, University of Oxford, vol. 69(6), pages 709-748, December.
  9. Chakraborty, Pinaki, 2011. "Deficit Fundamentalism vs Fiscal Federalism: Implications of 13th Finance Commission's Recommendations," Working Papers 11/81, National Institute of Public Finance and Policy.
  10. Alessandrini, Michele & Buccellato, Tullio & Scaramozzino, Pasquale, 2008. "Whither the Indian Federation? Regional Disparities and Economic Reforms," MPRA Paper 23416, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  11. Kao, Chihwa, 1999. "Spurious regression and residual-based tests for cointegration in panel data," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 90(1), pages 1-44, May.
  12. Alessandrini, Michele & Fattouh, Bassam & Ferrarini, Benno & Scaramozzino, Pasquale, 2011. "Tariff liberalization and trade specialization: Lessons from India," Journal of Comparative Economics, Elsevier, vol. 39(4), pages 499-513.
  13. Damiaan Persyn & Joakim Westerlund, 2008. "Error-correction–based cointegration tests for panel data," Stata Journal, StataCorp LP, vol. 8(2), pages 232-241, June.
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