Decentralization and the Fate of Minorities
AbstractThis paper analyses the welfare effects of a change from centralized to decentralized political authority. The potential disadvantage with decentralization in our model is that local dominant groups with rather “extreme” preferences may win the vote and implement policies that harm the well-being of local minorities. When the national median voter represents a “moderate” position, centralization can be seen as a way of protecting the interests of local minorities. Our main result is that the centralized solution may welfare dominate decentralization even in the absence of scale economics and interregional spillovers. We also demonstrate that increased segregation, increased mobility, and increased heterogeneity in preferences, factors that are normally considered to be arguments in favor of decentralization, may reduce the attractiveness of the decentralized solution from a welfare perspective. Finally, we show that when the national median voter is an “extreme” type, decentralization may represent a way of protecting local minority interests.
Download InfoIf you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.
Bibliographic InfoPaper provided by CESifo Group Munich in its series CESifo Working Paper Series with number 1032.
Date of creation: 2003
Date of revision:
This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:
- NEP-ALL-2004-05-02 (All new papers)
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
- Raquel Fernandez & Richard Rogerson, 1999.
"Equity and Resources: An Analysis of Education Finance Systems,"
NBER Working Papers
7111, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Raquel Fernandez & Richard Rogerson, 2003. "Equity and Resources: An Analysis of Education Finance Systems," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 111(4), pages 858-897, August.
- Caroline Minter Hoxby, 1996. "Are Efficiency and Equity in School Finance Substitutes or Complements?," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 10(4), pages 51-72, Fall.
- Timothy Besley & Stephen Coate, 1999.
"Centralized versus Decentralized Provision of Local Public Goods: A Political Economy Analysis,"
NBER Working Papers
7084, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Besley, Timothy J. & Coate, Stephen, 2000. "Centralized versus Decentralized Provision of Local Public Goods: a Political Economy Analysis," CEPR Discussion Papers 2495, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
- Cremer, Jacques & Palfrey, Thomas R., .
"In or Out?: Centralization by Majority Vote,"
879, California Institute of Technology, Division of the Humanities and Social Sciences.
- Ellingsen, Tore, 1998. "Externalities vs internalities: a model of political integration," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 68(2), pages 251-268, May.
- Alberto Alesina & Enrico Spolaore, 1995.
"On the Number and Size of Nations,"
NBER Working Papers
5050, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Bolton, Patrick & Roland, Gerard, 1996. "Distributional Conflicts, Factor Mobility, and Political Integration," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 86(2), pages 99-104, May.
- Fernandez, Raquel & Rogerson, Richard, 1996. "Income Distribution, Communities, and the Quality of Public Education," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 111(1), pages 135-64, February.
- Tranchant, Jean-Pierre, 2010. "Does Fiscal Decentralization Dampen All Ethnic Conflicts? The heterogeneous Impact of Fiscal Decentralization on Local Minorities and Local Majorities," MPRA Paper 22776, University Library of Munich, Germany.
For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Julio Saavedra).
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.