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Fiscal Autonomy and Total Government Expenditure: An Austrian Case-study

Johann Bröthaler () and Michael Getzner

International Advances in Economic Research, 2011, vol. 17, issue 2, 134-156

Abstract: The ongoing debate on the efficiency of a federal system versus a centralized system has lead to a diverse and unclear empirical picture of the effects of fiscal decentralization on public sector growth. For analyzing these effects it is crucial to consider the sub-national decision power on taxing and spending. In the current paper, we test for the effects of fiscal autonomy on total government expenditure using time series from 1955 to 2007 for Austria. Determinants of government expenditure are economic growth, fiscal illusion of policy makers, and the unemployment rate. We additionally account for different degrees of sub-national fiscal autonomy. Our econometric results suggest that the often-hypothesized dampening effects of fiscal autonomy cannot be corroborated for the Austrian system. Copyright International Atlantic Economic Society 2011

Keywords: Fiscal autonomy; Decentralization; Federalism; Growth of public sector; Public expenditure; H6; E6; H7 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2011
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DOI: 10.1007/s11294-011-9301-8

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Handle: RePEc:kap:iaecre:v:17:y:2011:i:2:p:134-156:10.1007/s11294-011-9301-8