OECD Working Papers on Fiscal Federalism

This series covers issues related to intergovernmental fiscal relations and local/regional public finance, such as: tax and spending assignment across government levels; intergovernmental grants; fiscal equalization; local and regional public service efficiency; inter-jurisdictional tax competition; and macroeconomic issues such as intergovernmental fiscal management and sub-central fiscal rules. Many of these working papers are outputs of the OECD Network on Fiscal Relations Across Levels of Government. Related working papers on fiscal federalism issues are also published in other OECD working paper series on tax policy, economics, public governance and regional development. An integrated list of key papers produced by the Fiscal Network can be found at http://oe.cd/fiscalnetwork.

(Note: numbers 1, 6 and 8 are available in the OECD Economics Department Working Papers, as numbers 465, 626 and 705.)


Population ageing and sub-central governments

Long-term fiscal challenges

The population in OECD countries is ageing rapidly, which will have significant macroeconomic impacts, including on public expenditure and tax revenues. This paper analyses the consequences of population ageing at the sub-central government (SCG) levels and introduces the ‘SCG fiscal vulnerability to ageing’ indicator. This indicator identifies the countries in which SCGs on average are “vulnerable” to the ageing of their population from a fiscal perspective (both from the expenditure and revenue side). The paper posits that the economic and fiscal consequences of an ageing population goes beyond the central-SCG boundaries. Therefore, in order to make fiscal frameworks “ageing-resilient”, countries require a coherent fiscal strategy, which focuses on tax and spending reforms, with a whole-of-government approach that brings together central governments and SCGs.


Keywords: long-term scenarios, demographic change, ageing, revenue vulnerability, subnational governments
JEL: J14: Labor and Demographic Economics / Demographic Economics / Economics of the Elderly; Economics of the Handicapped; Non-Labor Market Discrimination; H20: Public Economics / Taxation, Subsidies, and Revenue / Taxation, Subsidies, and Revenue: General; H71: Public Economics / State and Local Government; Intergovernmental Relations / State and Local Taxation, Subsidies, and Revenue
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