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Revenue autonomy preference in German state parliaments

  • Heinemann, Friedrich
  • Janeba, Eckhard
  • Moessinger, Marc-Daniel
  • Schröder, Christoph

Fiscal federalism in Germany is characterized by lacking sub-national tax autonomy and intensive fiscal equalization. Due to a sunset clause, the current equalization system has to be renegotiated by the year 2019. Against this backdrop, this contribution studies the reform preferences of members of state parliaments. The study makes use of a self-conducted survey among the members of all 16 German state parliaments. It tests to which extent the preferences of these veto players for tax autonomy and fiscal equalization are driven by states' self-interest, party ideology and individual characteristics. The results are helpful to understand the political-economic constraints of federal reforms. They indicate that besides the individual ideological position higher state wealth and lower debt levels are linked to larger reform support. Therefore, a promising new reform would have to address budgetary legacies like high pre-existing debt.

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Paper provided by ZEW - Zentrum für Europäische Wirtschaftsforschung / Center for European Economic Research in its series ZEW Discussion Papers with number 13-090.

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Date of creation: 2013
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:zbw:zewdip:13090
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  1. Sven Jari Stehn & Annalisa Fedelino, 2009. "Fiscal Incentive Effects of the German Equalization System," IMF Working Papers 09/124, International Monetary Fund.
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  5. Sam Bucovetsky & Michael Smart, 2002. "The Efficiency Consequences of Local Revenue Equalization: Tax Competition and Tax Distortions," CESifo Working Paper Series 767, CESifo Group Munich.
  6. Friedrich Heinemann & Philipp Mohl & Steffen Osterloh, 2009. "Who’s afraid of an EU tax and why?—revenue system preferences in the European Parliament," The Review of International Organizations, Springer, vol. 4(1), pages 73-99, March.
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  8. Axel Dreher & Michael J. Lamla & Sarah M. Rupprecht & Frank Somogyi, 2006. "The impact of political leaders’ profession and education on reforms," KOF Working papers 06-147, KOF Swiss Economic Institute, ETH Zurich.
  9. Janeba, Eckhard & Heinemann, Friedrich, 2011. "Viewing tax policy through party-colored glasses: What German politicians believe," MPRA Paper 33096, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  10. Buettner, Thiess, 2002. "Fiscal federalism and interstate risk sharing: empirical evidence from Germany," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 74(2), pages 195-202, January.
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  12. Gohlmann, Silja & Vaubel, Roland, 2007. "The educational and occupational background of central bankers and its effect on inflation: An empirical analysis," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 51(4), pages 925-941, May.
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  16. von Hagen, Jürgen & Hepp, Ralf, 2000. "Regional risksharing and redistribution in the German federation," ZEI Working Papers B 15-2000, ZEI - Center for European Integration Studies, University of Bonn.
  17. Lars P. Feld & Christoph A. Schaltegger, 2009. "Political Stability and Fiscal Policy - Time Series Evidence for the Swiss Federal Level since 1849," CESifo Working Paper Series 2691, CESifo Group Munich.
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  21. Moessinger, Marc-Daniel, 2012. "Do personal characteristics of finance ministers affect the development of public debt?," ZEW Discussion Papers 12-068, ZEW - Zentrum für Europäische Wirtschaftsforschung / Center for European Economic Research.
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  23. Oates, Wallace E., 2008. "On The Evolution of Fiscal Federalism: Theory and Institutions," National Tax Journal, National Tax Association, vol. 61(2), pages 313-34, June.
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