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Externalities and Bailouts: Hard and Soft Budget Constraints in Intergovernmental Fiscal Relations

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  • David E. Wildasin

    (University of Kentucky)

Abstract

Central government matching grants can, in principle, induce socially- efficient provision of local public goods that produce spillover benefits. Local underprovision of public goods may however elicit direct central-government provision and finance (a ``bailout") that makes local residents better off than under grant-subsidized local provision; local underprovision that induces bailouts reveals the local budget constraint to be ``soft." Simulations suggest that the ability of a locality to extract a welfare-improving bailout depends positively on its size: budget constraints are more likely to be ``hard" for small localities.

Suggested Citation

  • David E. Wildasin, 2001. "Externalities and Bailouts: Hard and Soft Budget Constraints in Intergovernmental Fiscal Relations," Public Economics 0112002, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  • Handle: RePEc:wpa:wuwppe:0112002
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    fiscal federalism intergovernmental transfers;

    JEL classification:

    • D6 - Microeconomics - - Welfare Economics
    • D7 - Microeconomics - - Analysis of Collective Decision-Making
    • H - Public Economics

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