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Does fiscal oversight matter?

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  • Christofzik, Désirée I.
  • Kessing, Sebastian

Abstract

A gradually introduced reform of local government accounting made it temporarily possible for municipalities in the German state of North Rhine-Westphalia to avoid the effective control of their budget by the authorities in charge of overseeing local government budgets and enforcing the existing fiscal rules. Using this 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 sizable 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 requirements for their success.

Suggested Citation

  • Christofzik, Désirée I. & Kessing, Sebastian, 2018. "Does fiscal oversight matter?," Working Papers 01/2018, German Council of Economic Experts / Sachverständigenrat zur Begutachtung der gesamtwirtschaftlichen Entwicklung.
  • Handle: RePEc:zbw:svrwwp:012018
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    Cited by:

    1. 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.
    2. 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.
    3. 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.
    4. 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.
    5. Christofzik, Désirée I., 2019. "Does accrual accounting alter fiscal policy decisions? - Evidence from Germany," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 60(C).
    6. Dilla, Diana, 2017. "Staatsverschuldung und Verschuldungsmentalität [Public Debt and Debt Mentality]," MPRA Paper 79432, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    7. Borge, Lars-Erik & Hopland, Arnt O., 2020. "Less fiscal oversight, more adjustment," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 63(C).
    8. 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.
    9. Paolo Chiades & Luciano Greco & Vanni Mengotto & Luigi Moretti & Paola Valbonesi, 2016. "Intergovernmental transfers and expenditure arrears," Temi di discussione (Economic working papers) 1076, Bank of Italy, Economic Research and International Relations Area.
    10. 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.
    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. 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.

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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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