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Optimal Design of Intergovernmental Grants Under Asymmetric Information

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Author Info

  • Bernd Huber

    ()

  • Marco Runkel

    ()

Abstract

This paper develops a theoretical explanation why it may be optimal for higher-level governments to pay categorical block grants or closed-ended matching grants to local governments. We consider a federation with two types of local governments which differ in the cost of providing public goods. The federal government redistributes between jurisdictions, but cannot observe the type of a jurisdiction. In this asymmetric information setting, it is shown that the second-best optimum can be implemented with the help of categorical block grants and closed-ended matching grants, but not with unconditional block grants or open-ended matching grants. Copyright Springer Science + Business Media, Inc. 2006

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File URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10.1007/s10797-006-1405-3
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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by Springer in its journal International Tax and Public Finance.

Volume (Year): 13 (2006)
Issue (Month): 1 (January)
Pages: 25-41

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Handle: RePEc:kap:itaxpf:v:13:y:2006:i:1:p:25-41

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Web page: http://www.springerlink.com/link.asp?id=102915

Related research

Keywords: asymmetric information; categorical block grants; closed-ended matching grants;

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References

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  1. Bucovetsky, S. & Marchand, M. & Pestieau, P., 1998. "Tax Competition and Revelation of Preferences for Public Expenditure," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 44(3), pages 367-390, November.
  2. Bev Dahlby, 1996. "Fiscal externalities and the design of intergovernmental grants," International Tax and Public Finance, Springer, vol. 3(3), pages 397-412, July.
  3. Massimo Bordignon & Paolo Manasse & Guido Tabellini, 2001. "Optimal Regional Redistribution under Asymmetric Information," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 91(3), pages 709-723, June.
  4. Lockwood, Ben, 1999. "Inter-regional insurance," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 72(1), pages 1-37, April.
  5. Bird, Richard M. & Smart, Michael, 2002. "Intergovernmental Fiscal Transfers: International Lessons for Developing Countries," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 30(6), pages 899-912, June.
  6. Horst Raff & John Wilson, 1997. "Income Redistribution with Well-Informed Local Governments," International Tax and Public Finance, Springer, vol. 4(4), pages 407-427, November.
  7. Wallace E. Oates, 1999. "An Essay on Fiscal Federalism," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 37(3), pages 1120-1149, September.
  8. Richard C. Cornes & Emilson C. D. Silva, 2003. "Public Good Mix in a Federation with Incomplete Information," Journal of Public Economic Theory, Association for Public Economic Theory, vol. 5(2), pages 381-397, 04.
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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. Herold, Katharina, 2009. "Intergovernmental grants and financial autonomy under asymmetric information," FiFo Discussion Papers - Finanzwissenschaftliche Diskussionsbeiträge 09-2, University of Cologne, FiFo Institute for Public Economics.
  2. Geys, Benny & Konrad, Kai A., 2010. "Federalism and optimal allocation across levels of governance," Discussion Papers, Research Professorship & Project "The Future of Fiscal Federalism" SP II 2010-09, Social Science Research Center Berlin (WZB).
  3. Riemer Faber & Pierre Koning, 2012. "Why Not Fully Spend a Conditional Block Grant?," CPB Discussion Paper 213, CPB Netherlands Bureau for Economic Policy Analysis.
  4. Bernd Huber & Marco Runkel, 2005. "Interregional Redistribution and Budget Institutions under Asymmetric Information," CESifo Working Paper Series 1491, CESifo Group Munich.
  5. Levaggi, Rosella, 2010. "From local to global public goods: How should externalities be represented?," Economic Modelling, Elsevier, vol. 27(5), pages 1040-1042, September.
  6. Billy Jack, 2003. "Comparing the distortionary effects of alternative in-kind intergovernmental transfers," Working Papers gueconwpa~03-03-17, Georgetown University, Department of Economics.
  7. Allers, Maarten A. & Toolsema, Linda A., 2012. "Welfare financing: Grant allocation and efficiency," Research Report 12004-EEF, University of Groningen, Research Institute SOM (Systems, Organisations and Management).

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