The IMF Working Papers series is designed to make IMF staff research available to a wide audience. Almost 300 Working Papers are released each year, covering a wide range of theoretical and analytical topics, including balance of payments, monetary and fiscal issues, global liquidity, and national and international economic developments.
Countries have adopted various institutional responses to subnational government borrowing. Using a sample of 44 countries 1982-2000, this paper provides a panel data analysis to determine the most effective borrowing constraints for containing local fiscal deficits. The results suggest that no single institutional arrangement is superior under all circumstances. The appropriateness of specific arrangements depends upon other institutional characteristics, particularly the degree of vertical fiscal imbalance, the existence of any bailout precedent, and the quality of fiscal reporting.