Working Paper

Output fluctuations and fiscal policy : U.S. state and local governments 1978-1994


Abstract: What are the cyclical properties of U.S. state and local government fiscal policy? The budget surplus of local and, in particular, state governments is procyclical, smoothing disposable income and consumption of state residents. This happens over both short- and medium-term horizons. Procyclical surpluses are the result of strongly procyclical revenues, and weakly procyclical expenditures. The budgets of trust funds and utilities are procyclical. Federal grants are procyclical, exacerbating the cyclical amplitude of state level income movements; although they smooth the idiosyncratic component of shocks to state output. State and local budget surpluses are affected by balanced budget rules at the short- but not at the medium-term horizon. Further, budgets are less procyclical in conservative states.

Keywords: Fiscal policy; Local government; State finance; Local finance;

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Bibliographic Information

Provider: Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City

Part of Series: Research Working Paper

Publication Date: 1999

Number: 99-05