Chiades P., Greco L., Mengotto V., Moretti L., Valbonesi P. (2019).

Fiscal consolidation by intergovernmental transfers cuts? The unpleasant effect on expenditure arrears. Economic Modelling, Volume 77, 2019, Pages 266-275.



For the period 2003–2014, we investigate unexplored effects of fiscal consolidation in decentralized public finance on a large dataset of Italian municipalities. Based on a simple, realistic theoretical model, we show that municipalities increase arrears on committed investment expenditure as a response to intergovernmental transfer cuts. Then, we test our predictions controlling for potential sources of endogeneity, and find that a reduction in intergovernmental transfers causes a significant increase in arrears, in addition to other common adjustments to local fiscal policies (e.g., tax revenues). Our results highlight a perverse effect of fiscal consolidation packages implemented by centrally imposed fiscal restraints.