On government centralization and fiscal referendums
AbstractSeveral authors have argued that a centralization of fiscal powers in a federation is less likely to occur if citizens have to approve a change in the assignments of responsibilities by a popular referendum. This outcome may be due to the fact that logrolling is more difficult under direct than under representative democracy. It may also be caused by citizens' fear that a centralization of fiscal authority facilitates the extraction of rents by the government or the legislature. In this paper, we test the hypothesis that centralization is less likely under referendum decision-making in the unique institutional setting of Switzerland. Using a panel of Swiss cantons from 1980 to 1998, the empirical analysis provides evidence that referendums induce less centralization of fiscal activities.
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Bibliographic InfoArticle provided by Elsevier in its journal European Economic Review.
Volume (Year): 52 (2008)
Issue (Month): 4 (May)
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