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01-06-2015 | Issue 3-4/2015

Public Choice 3-4/2015

Partial fiscal decentralization and sub-national government fiscal discipline: empirical evidence from OECD countries

Journal:
Public Choice > Issue 3-4/2015
Authors:
Zareh Asatryan, Lars P. Feld, Benny Geys
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Electronic supplementary material

The online version of this article (doi:10.​1007/​s11127-015-0250-2) contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.

Abstract

Recent theoretical research suggests that financing sub-national governments’ expenditure out of own revenue sources is linked to more responsible budgeting, because the financial implications of spending decisions then are internalized within a jurisdiction. We test this proposition empirically on a sample of 23 OECD countries over the 1975–2000 period, and find evidence in line with the hypothesis that greater revenue decentralization (measured as sub-national governments’ share of own source tax revenues in general government tax revenue) is associated with improved sub-national government budget deficits/surpluses. This finding is cross-validated with a novel, independent dataset consisting of all 34 OECD member states from 2002 to 2008.

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