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Institutions of Intergovernmental Fiscal Relations

Challenges Ahead

image of Institutions of Intergovernmental Fiscal Relations

Intergovernmental fiscal institutions are the overarching framework for relations across government levels. They comprise the constitutional set up of a country; the division of power between government levels; the prevalence of fiscal rules across government levels; intergovernmental budget frameworks; the role of independent bodies such as fiscal councils in shaping fiscal relations; the inter-ministerial organisation of fiscal decision making; and other framework conditions shaping intergovernmental fiscal relations and fiscal policy. This book brings together academics and practitioners dealing with or being involved in shaping the institutions of intergovernmental fiscal relations. It has an interdisciplinary focus and provides insight from various academic or practitioners’ fields: economists, political scientists, budget management specialists and others.

 

English

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Autonomy and interdependence: The scope and limits of “fend for yourself federalism” in the United States

Despite a gradual, intermittent trend toward greater centralization, the United States remains one of the world’s most decentralized federal systems. The federal government has nonetheless had a growing fiscal influence over time, thanks to the increase in federal grants to state and local governments since the 1930s and the unprecedented number of federal mandates handed down over the past five decades. As fiscal interdependence has grown, the institutional structures that helped knit together the levels of government have eroded or disappeared altogether. This chapter will explore each of these facets of fiscal federalism in the United States, including the role of state fiscal rules and the implications of national policies – especially intergovernmental grants – for state and local government. It will particularly examine the paradox of deinstitutionalising intergovernmental consultation mechanisms in an era of rising interdependence, and it will explore its implications.

English

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