Faculty of Economics and Business Administration Publications Database

Federal fiscal transfer rules in monetary unions

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Source:
Volume: 56
Number: 3
Pages: 507 - 525
Month: April
ISSN-Print: 0014-2921
Link External Source: Online Version
Year: 2012
Keywords: Macro aspects of fiscal federalism; Monetary union; Stabilization; Interregional risk sharing
Abstract:

This paper considers simple rules for federal fiscal transfers that automatically redistribute funds among member states of a monetary union to counteract adverse idiosyncratic shocks. The transfer rules target regional differences in nominal GDP, consumption spending, labor income, and fiscal deficits. Targeting regional fiscal deficits is the only rule that reduces consumption fluctuations and that promotes interregional consumption risk sharing, but the overall welfare effect is negative. In contrast, targeting regional differences in labor income yields the largest welfare gains, but it also yields the largest fluctuations in consumption and real GDP. It is demonstrated that the welfare gains primarily stem from reducing the allocative inefficiency of input factors caused by nominal rigidities. The optimal transfer rule essentially implies a combination of consumption spending and labor income targeting, and it primarily targets the allocative inefficiency of factor inputs at the cost of lower interregional consumption risk sharing.

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