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Does Fiscal Oversight Matter?

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Abstract

A gradually introduced reform of local government accounting made it temporarily likely for municipalities in the German state of North Rhine-Westphalia to avoid the effective control of their budget by the authorities in charge with overseeing local government budgets and enforcing the existing fiscal rules. Using this arguably exogenous withdrawal of effective fiscal oversight we identify the effects of fiscal restraints and their enforcement on fiscal outcomes. We find that the withdrawal of oversight has a significant and sizeable effect on per capita debt of local governments that were previously constrained by fiscal oversight. Fiscal restraints are important, and oversight and enforcement are key issues for their success.
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  • Desiree Christofzik & Sebastian G. Kessing, 2018. "Does Fiscal Oversight Matter?," Volkswirtschaftliche Diskussionsbeiträge 184-18, Universität Siegen, Fakultät Wirtschaftswissenschaften, Wirtschaftsinformatik und Wirtschaftsrecht.
  • Handle: RePEc:sie:siegen:184-18
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    1. Borck, Rainald & Fossen, Frank M. & Freier, Ronny & Martin, Thorsten, 2015. "Race to the debt trap? — Spatial econometric evidence on debt in German municipalities," Regional Science and Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 53(C), pages 20-37.
    2. Florian Dorn & Stefanie Gaebler & Felix Roesel, 2021. "Ineffective fiscal rules? The effect of public sector accounting standards on budgets, efficiency, and accountability," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 186(3), pages 387-412, March.
    3. Christofzik, Désirée I. & Schneider, Benny, 2019. "Fiscal policy adjustments to budget shocks: Evidence from German municipalities," Working Papers 10/2019, German Council of Economic Experts / Sachverständigenrat zur Begutachtung der gesamtwirtschaftlichen Entwicklung.
    4. Felix Rösel, 2017. "The Political Economy of Fiscal Supervision and Budget Deficits: Evidence from Germany," Fiscal Studies, Institute for Fiscal Studies, vol. 38, pages 641-666, December.
    5. Paolo Chiades & Luciano Greco & Vanni Mengotto & Luigi Moretti & Paola Valbonesi, 2016. "Intergovernmental transfers and expenditure arrears," Working Papers hal-01442684, HAL.
    6. Pirvu, Daniela & Dutu, Amalia & Enachescu, Carmen, 2019. "Analysing Of Government'S Fiscal Behaviour In The Eu Member States Through Clustering Procedure," UTMS Journal of Economics, University of Tourism and Management, Skopje, Macedonia, vol. 10(1), pages 23-39.
    7. Heinemann, Friedrich & Moessinger, Marc-Daniel & Yeter, Mustafa, 2018. "Do fiscal rules constrain fiscal policy? A meta-regression-analysis," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 51(C), pages 69-92.
    8. Christofzik, Désirée I., 2019. "Does accrual accounting alter fiscal policy decisions? - Evidence from Germany," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 60(C).
    9. Elva Bova & Marta Ruiz-Arranz & Frederik Giancarlo Toscani & Hatice Elif Ture, 2019. "The impact of contingent liability realizations on public finances," International Tax and Public Finance, Springer;International Institute of Public Finance, vol. 26(2), pages 381-417, April.
    10. Dilla, Diana, 2017. "Staatsverschuldung und Verschuldungsmentalität [Public Debt and Debt Mentality]," MPRA Paper 79432, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    11. Bofinger, Peter & Schnabel, Isabel & Feld, Lars P. & Schmidt, Christoph M. & Wieland, Volker, 2017. "Für eine zukunftsorientierte Wirtschaftspolitik. Jahresgutachten 2017/18," Annual Economic Reports / Jahresgutachten, German Council of Economic Experts / Sachverständigenrat zur Begutachtung der gesamtwirtschaftlichen Entwicklung, volume 127, number 201718.
    12. Borge, Lars-Erik & Hopland, Arnt O., 2020. "Less fiscal oversight, more adjustment," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 63(C).

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Fiscal oversight; fiscal rules; local government debt;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • 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
    • R50 - Urban, Rural, Regional, Real Estate, and Transportation Economics - - Regional Government Analysis - - - General

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