The paper investigates the intertemporal spending behavior of Scandinavian local governments with particular attention to liquidity constraints imposed by balanced-budget-rules and other regulations. The main finding is that Danish local governments are more able to smooth current expenditures than their Norwegian and Swedish counterparts. Whereas the permanent-income hypothesis cannot be rejected for Denmark, it is in most cases rejected for Norway and Sweden. The Swedish system of market-based control and the Norwegian system of administrative control seem to produce similar results in terms of consumption smoothing.
Local government consumption Intertemporal decision-making