Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/10419/213589
Authors: 
Dorn, Florian
Gaebler, Stefanie
Rösel, Felix
Year of Publication: 
2019
Series/Report no.: 
ifo Working Paper No. 312
Abstract: 
International organizations have encouraged national governments to switch from traditional cash-based to business-like accrual accounting, on the presumption that long-run benefits may outweigh substantial implementation and operating costs. We use a quasi-experimental setting to evaluate whether changing public sector accounting standards is justified. Some local governments in the German federal state of Bavaria introduced accrual accounting while others retained cash-based accounting. Difference-in-differences and event-study results do not show that (capital) expenditures, public debt, voter turnout, or government efficiency developed differently after changes in accounting standards. Operating costs of administration, however, increase under accrual accounting.
Subjects: 
Fiscal rules
public accounting
budget transparency
sustainability
government efficiency
accountability
local government
JEL: 
D02
D73
H72
H83
Document Type: 
Working Paper

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