Fiscal Institutions, Credit Ratings, and Borrowing Costs
20 Pages Posted: 9 Feb 2005
This paper investigates the impact of fiscal institutions on state government borrowing costs. We find that institutions have both a direct and indirect effect on interest costs paid by state governments. Revenue limits are associated directly with higher interest costs; expenditure limits, stricter balanced budget rules, and restrictions on state debt issuance are indirectly associated with lower interest costs because they lead to higher credit ratings. It appears that investors and bond raters incorporate information on fiscal institutions into their assessment of state government credit quality.
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