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The impact of referendums on the centralisation of public goods provision: a political economy approach

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  • Jan Schnellenbach

    ()

  • Lars Feld

    ()

  • Christoph Schaltegger

    ()

Abstract

The paper compares decision-making on the centralisation of public goods provision in the presence of regional externalities under representative and direct democratic institutions. A model with two regions, two public goods and regional spillovers is developed in which uncertainty over the true preferences of candidates makes strategic delegation impossible. Instead, it is shown that the existence of rent extraction by delegates alone suffices to make cooperative centralisation more likely through representative democracy. In the non-cooperative case, the more extensive possibilities for institutional design under representative democracy increase the likelihood of centralisation. Direct democracy may thus be interpreted as a federalism-preserving institution.

(This abstract was borrowed from another version of this item.)

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by Springer in its journal Economics of Governance.

Volume (Year): 11 (2010)
Issue (Month): 1 (February)
Pages: 3-26

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Handle: RePEc:spr:ecogov:v:11:y:2010:i:1:p:3-26

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Related research

Keywords: Centralisation; Direct democracy; Representative democracy; Public good provision; H11; H77; H72; H73;

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References

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  8. Robert A.J. Dur & Hein J. Roelfsema, 2002. "Why does Centralisation fail to internalise Policy Externalities?," Tinbergen Institute Discussion Papers 02-056/3, Tinbergen Institute, revised 11 Nov 2003.
  9. Thomas Gilligan & John Matsusaka, 2006. "Public choice principles of redistricting," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 129(3), pages 381-398, December.
  10. Charles Blankart, 2000. "The Process of Government Centralization: A Constitutional View," Constitutional Political Economy, Springer, vol. 11(1), pages 27-39, March.
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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. Libman, Alexander, 2010. "Constitutions, regulations, and taxes: Contradictions of different aspects of decentralization," Frankfurt School - Working Paper Series 138, Frankfurt School of Finance and Management.
  2. Janos Feidler & Klaas Staal, 2012. "Centralized and decentralized provision of public goods," Economics of Governance, Springer, vol. 13(1), pages 73-93, March.
  3. Lisa Grazzini & Alessandro Petretto, 2012. "Voting on devolution in a federal country with a bicameral national system," Economics of Governance, Springer, vol. 13(1), pages 51-72, March.
  4. Thomas Döring & Jan Schnellenbach, 2011. "A tale of two federalisms: Germany, the United States and the ubiquity of centralization," Constitutional Political Economy, Springer, vol. 22(1), pages 83-102, March.
  5. Lars P. Feld & Justina A.V. Fischer & Gebhard Kirchgässner, 2006. "The Effect of Direct Democracy on Income Redistribution:Evidence for Switzerland," STICERD - Political Economy and Public Policy Paper Series 23, Suntory and Toyota International Centres for Economics and Related Disciplines, LSE.
  6. Libman, Alexander, 2008. "Endogenous (De)Centralization and the Russian Federalism," Applied Econometrics, Publishing House "SINERGIA PRESS", vol. 9(1), pages 23-57.
  7. Niklas Potrafke, 2013. "Evidence on the Political Principal-Agent Problem from Voting on Public Finance for Concert Halls," CESifo Working Paper Series 4306, CESifo Group Munich.
  8. Feld, Lars P. & Fischer, Justina A.V. & Kirchgaessner, Gebhard, 2007. "The Effect of Direct Democratic Institutions on Income Redistribution: Evidence for Switzerland," Working Paper Series in Economics and Finance 689, Stockholm School of Economics.
  9. Libman, Alexander Mikhailovich, 2009. "Эндогенные Границы И Распределение Власти В Федерациях И Международных Сообществах
    [ENDOGENOUS BOUNDARIES AND DISTRIBUTION O
    ," MPRA Paper 16473, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  10. Martin Gregor, 2012. "Modeling positive inter-jurisdictional public spending spillovers," Working Papers IES 2012/16, Charles University Prague, Faculty of Social Sciences, Institute of Economic Studies, revised Jun 2012.
  11. Lorenz Blume & Stefan Voigt, 2011. "Federalism and decentralization—a critical survey of frequently used indicators," Constitutional Political Economy, Springer, vol. 22(3), pages 238-264, September.
  12. Martin Gregor & Lenka Stastna, 2012. "The decentralization tradeoff for complementary spillovers," Review of Economic Design, Springer, vol. 16(1), pages 41-69, March.

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