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Can State and Local Revenue and Expenditure Enhance Economic Growth? A Cross-State Panel Study of Fiscal Activity

Author

Listed:
  • Christopher Arthur Clarke

    (Washington State University)

  • Stephen M. Miller

    (University of Nevada, Las Vegas and University of Connecticut)

Abstract

The slow economic recovery since the 2008 financial crisis and Great Recession requires state and local governments to continue to make difficult decisions concerning which taxes to raise and which expenditures to decrease in order to maintain a balanced budget. As expenditures usually raise economic growth and taxes generally hinder it, seeking the optimum combination of taxes and expenditures encourages prosperity in a state. In this paper, we study the effects of various expenditures and revenue combinations on growth in real state personal income per capita, using a sample of annual observations from 1977 to 2010 for 49 states and the District of Columbia. We find that state and local governments overfund education and parks, recreation, and natural resources while they underfund hospitals and health spending, once netted for charges and user fees. State and local governments also underutilize corporate income taxes as a source of revenue. Finally, we also estimate non-linear and short- and long-run specifications, which generally support prior findings.

Suggested Citation

  • Christopher Arthur Clarke & Stephen M. Miller, 2014. "Can State and Local Revenue and Expenditure Enhance Economic Growth? A Cross-State Panel Study of Fiscal Activity," Working papers 2014-25, University of Connecticut, Department of Economics.
  • Handle: RePEc:uct:uconnp:2014-25
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Regional growth; state and local finance;

    JEL classification:

    • E62 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Macroeconomic Policy, Macroeconomic Aspects of Public Finance, and General Outlook - - - Fiscal Policy
    • H21 - Public Economics - - Taxation, Subsidies, and Revenue - - - Efficiency; Optimal Taxation
    • H70 - Public Economics - - State and Local Government; Intergovernmental Relations - - - General
    • O40 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Growth and Aggregate Productivity - - - General
    • R11 - Urban, Rural, Regional, Real Estate, and Transportation Economics - - General Regional Economics - - - Regional Economic Activity: Growth, Development, Environmental Issues, and Changes

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