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Strength in Diversity? Fiscal Federalism among the Fifty U.S. States

Teresa Garcia-Mila, Therese J. McGuire and Wallace Oates

No 1001, Working Papers from Barcelona Graduate School of Economics

Abstract: Fiscal federalism in the United States has a distinctive structure that contrasts sharply with that in most other industrialized nations. Our purpose in this paper is to describe and explore the U.S. “brand” of fiscal federalism. We demonstrate that there is a striking amount of variety in the 50 state fiscal systems and that these differences have prevailed in the face of potentially disruptive forces. The variety we find stems in large part from states having meaningful fiscal autonomy, in particular, the authority to levy taxes. The result is likely higher societal welfare than would ensue without this autonomy.

Keywords: fiscal federalism; fifty U.S. states (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: H70 H77 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2017-11
New Economics Papers: this item is included in nep-eur
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Journal Article: Strength in diversity? Fiscal federalism among the fifty US states (2018) Downloads
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