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Intergovernmental Transfers and Fiscal Behavior: Insurance versus Aggregate Discipline

  • Mariano Tommasi

    ()

    (Department of Economics, Universidad de San Andres & Center of Studies for Institutional Development)

  • Pablo Sanguinetti

    (Universidad Torcuato Di Tella)

This paper evaluates the trade-off between the advantages of risk sharing and the perils of common pool problems in federal fiscal arrangements. Under the assumption of asymmetric information we evaluate two alternative regimes of intergovernmental transfers. In one regime, the central government pre-commits to a certain level of transfers that compensate vertical fiscal imbalances and provide some limited ex-ante insurance In the other regime, it accommodates ex-post the fiscal needs of the different provinces In this second case, full-insurance results, but the economy is subject to a tragedy of the fiscal commons, with excessive subnational spending, insufficient local taxation, and reduced production of federal public goods We find the range of parameters for which one or the other institutional regime will be preferable. The result is a fiscal-federalism version of the usual trade off between rules and discretion.

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File URL: ftp://webacademicos.udesa.edu.ar/pub/econ/doc60.pdf
File Function: First version, 2003
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Paper provided by Universidad de San Andres, Departamento de Economia in its series Working Papers with number 60.

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Length: 40 pages
Date of creation: Aug 2003
Date of revision: Aug 2003
Handle: RePEc:sad:wpaper:60
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  1. Lockwood, Ben, 1997. "Inter-Regional Insurance," Discussion Papers 9703, Exeter University, Department of Economics.
  2. Andres Velasco, 1999. "A Model of Endogenous Fiscal Deficits and Delayed Fiscal Reforms," NBER Chapters, in: Fiscal Institutions and Fiscal Performance, pages 37-58 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  3. Bottazzi, Laura & Manasse, Paolo, 1998. "Bankers' Versus Workers' Europe (I): Adverse Selection in EMU," CEPR Discussion Papers 1846, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  4. Pablo Sanguinetti, 1994. "Intergovernmental transfers and public sector expenditures: a game-theoretic approach," Estudios de Economia, University of Chile, Department of Economics, vol. 21(2 Year 19), pages 179-212, December.
  5. Guillermo Mondino & Federico Sturzenegger & Mariano Tommasi, 1992. "Recurrent High Inflation and Stabilization, A Dynamic Game," UCLA Economics Working Papers 678, UCLA Department of Economics.
  6. Lee, Kangoh, 1998. "Uncertain income and redistribution in a federal system," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 69(3), pages 413-433, September.
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  8. Persson, Torsten & Tabellini, Guido, 1996. "Federal Fiscal Constitutions: Risk Sharing and Moral Hazard," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 64(3), pages 623-46, May.
  9. Melitz, Jacques & Zumer, Frédéric, 1998. "Regional Redistribution and Stabilization by the Centre in Canada, France, the United Kingdom and the United States: New Estimates Based on Panel Data Econometrics," CEPR Discussion Papers 1829, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  10. Melitz, Jacques & Vori, Silvia, 1992. "National Insurance Against Unevenly Distributed Shocks in a European Monetary Union," CEPR Discussion Papers 697, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  11. David E. Wildasin, 2001. "Externalities and Bailouts: Hard and Soft Budget Constraints in Intergovernmental Fiscal Relations," Public Economics 0112002, EconWPA.
  12. Alberto Alesina & Roberto Perotti, 1996. "Budget Deficits and Budget Institutions," IMF Working Papers 96/52, International Monetary Fund.
  13. Kletzer, Kenneth & von Hagen, Jürgen, 2000. "Monetary Union and Fiscal Federalism," CEPR Discussion Papers 2615, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  14. Joshua Aizenman, 1989. "The Competitive Externalities and the Optimal Seignorage," NBER Working Papers 2937, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  15. Kalemli-Ozcan, Sebnem & Sorensen, Bent E. & Yosha, Oved, 2001. "Economic integration, industrial specialization, and the asymmetry of macroeconomic fluctuations," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 55(1), pages 107-137, October.
  16. Cremer, H. & Marchand, M. & Pestieau, P., . "Interregional redistribution through tax surcharge," CORE Discussion Papers RP -1218, Université catholique de Louvain, Center for Operations Research and Econometrics (CORE).
  17. Jones, Mark P. & Sanguinetti, Pablo & Tommasi, Mariano, 2000. "Politics, institutions, and fiscal performance in a federal system: an analysis of the Argentine provinces," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 61(2), pages 305-333, April.
  18. Bordignon, Massimo & Manasse, Paolo & Tabellini, Guido, 1996. "Optimal Regional Redistribution Under Asymmetric Information," CEPR Discussion Papers 1437, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  19. Eichengreen, Barry, 1993. "European Monetary Unification," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 31(3), pages 1321-57, September.
  20. Büttner, Thiess, 1999. "Regional Stabilization by Fiscal Equalization? Theoretical Considerations and Empirical Evidence from Germany," ZEW Discussion Papers 99-23, ZEW - Zentrum für Europäische Wirtschaftsforschung / Center for European Economic Research.
  21. Hepp, Ralf & von Hagen, Jürgen, 2001. "Regional Risksharing and Redistribution in the German Federation," CEPR Discussion Papers 2662, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  22. Juan Pablo Nicolini & Josefina Posadas & Juan Sanguinetti & Pablo Sanguinetti & Mariano Tommasi, 2002. "Decentralization, Fiscal Discipline in Sub-National Governments and the Bailout Problem: The Case of Argentina," Research Department Publications 3160, Inter-American Development Bank, Research Department.
  23. Seabright, Paul, 1994. "Accountability and Decentralization in Government: An Incomplete Contracts Model," CEPR Discussion Papers 889, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  24. von Hagen, Jürgen, 1998. "Fiscal policy and intranational risk-sharing," ZEI Working Papers B 13-1998, ZEI - Center for European Integration Studies, University of Bonn.
  25. Xavier Sala-i-Martin & Jeffrey Sachs, 1991. "Fiscal Federalism and Optimum Currency Areas: Evidence for Europe From the United States," NBER Working Papers 3855, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  26. Bucovetsky, Sam, 1998. "Federalism, equalization and risk aversion," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 67(3), pages 301-328, March.
  27. Helg, Rodolfo & Manasse, Paolo & Monacelli, Tommaso & Rovelli, Riccardo, 1995. "How much (a)symmetry in Europe? Evidence from industrial sectors," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 39(5), pages 1017-1041, May.
  28. Mariano Tommasi & Mark P. Jones & Pablo Sanguinetti, 1997. "Politics, Institutions and Public Sector Spending in the Argentine Provinces," Working Papers 17, Universidad de San Andres, Departamento de Economia, revised Jan 1999.
  29. Mariano Tommasi & Federico Weinschelbaum, 2000. "A Principal-Agent Building Block for the Study of Decentralization and Integration," Econometric Society World Congress 2000 Contributed Papers 0457, Econometric Society.
  30. Persson, Torsten & Tabellini, Guido, 1996. "Federal Fiscal Constitutions: Risk Sharing and Redistribution," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 104(5), pages 979-1009, October.
  31. Yianos Kontopoulos & Roberto Perotti, 1999. "Government Fragmentation and Fiscal Policy Outcomes: Evidence from OECD Countries," NBER Chapters, in: Fiscal Institutions and Fiscal Performance, pages 81-102 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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