University of Göttingen, Center for European, Governance and Economic Development Research (cege), Göttingen
This paper studies with disaggregated budget data how expenditures, revenues, and borrowing evolve in municipalities that receive bailouts. It asks whether higher-level governments enforce austerity measures after bailing out indebted municipalities. The sample consists of 421 municipalities in the German federal state of Hesse over the 1997-2010 period. The results indicate that municipalities cut personnel, construction, and social expenditures, increase tax revenues and property tax rates, and reduce deficits after they receive a bailout from the state government. The state government appears to be both able and willing to enforce austerity after granting a bailout.
subnational bailouts soft budget constraints local fiscal policy