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Sharing Budgetary Austerity under Free Mobility and Asymmetric Information: An Optimal Regulation Approach to Fiscal Federalism

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  • Marie-Laure Breuillé
  • Robert J. Gary-Bobo

Abstract

In the present article, Tiebout meets Laffont and Tirole in the land of Fiscal Federalism. We use a non-trivial Principal-Multi-Agent model to characterize the optimal intergovernmental grant schedule, when the cost of local public goods depends on hidden characteristics and actions of local governments, and under citizen free mobility. We show that local governments earn informational rents, and how optimal local taxes, public good production levels and land prices are jointly distorted at the second-best optimum, as a consequence of free mobility and asymmetric information. The effect of informational asymmetries is to decrease the average production of public goods and to increase the inter-jurisdictional variance of taxes and public-good production.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by CESifo Group Munich in its series CESifo Working Paper Series with number 1559.

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Date of creation: 2005
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Handle: RePEc:ces:ceswps:_1559

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Keywords: asymmetric information; Principal-Agent model; public budget deficits; free-mobility equilibrium; fiscal federalism;

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References

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  1. Gilbert, Guy & Picard, Pierre, 1996. "Incentives and optimal size of local jurisdictions," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 40(1), pages 19-41, January.
  2. Jean Tirole & Jean-Jaques Laffont, 1985. "Using Cost Observation to Regulate Firms," Working papers 368, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Department of Economics.
  3. Boadway, Robin & Horiba, Isao & Jha, Raghbendra, 1999. " The Provision of Public Services by Government Funded Decentralized Agencies," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 100(3-4), pages 157-84, September.
  4. Richard C. Cornes & Emilson C.D. Silva, 1996. "Local Public Goods, Inter-Regional Transfers and Private Information," Keele Department of Economics Discussion Papers (1995-2001) 96/11, Department of Economics, Keele University.
  5. Jean-Jacques Laffont & Jean Tirole, 1993. "A Theory of Incentives in Procurement and Regulation," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 0262121743, January.
  6. Lockwood, Ben, 1998. "Distributive Politics and the Costs of Centralization," CEPR Discussion Papers 2046, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  7. 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.
  8. 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.
  9. 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.
  10. Besley, Timothy & Coate, Stephen, 2003. "Centralized versus decentralized provision of local public goods: a political economy approach," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 87(12), pages 2611-2637, December.
  11. Persson, Torsten & Tabellini, Guido, 1996. "Federal Fiscal Constitutions: Risk Sharing and Moral Hazard," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 64(3), pages 623-46, May.
  12. CREMER, Helmuth & MARCHAND, Maurice & PESTIEAU, Pierre, 1994. "Interregional Reditribution through Tax Surcharge," CORE Discussion Papers 1994069, Université catholique de Louvain, Center for Operations Research and Econometrics (CORE).
  13. Seabright, Paul, 1996. "Accountability and decentralisation in government: An incomplete contracts model," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 40(1), pages 61-89, January.
  14. Antonio Estache & J. Cremer & Paul Seabright, 2005. "Decentralizing Public Services: What can we learn from the Theory of the Firm?," ULB Institutional Repository 2013/44017, ULB -- Universite Libre de Bruxelles.
  15. Laffont, Jean-Jacques & Zantman, Wilfried, 2002. "Information acquisition, political game and the delegation of authority," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 18(3), pages 407-428, September.
  16. Besfamille, Martin, 2004. "Local public works and intergovernmental transfers under asymmetric information," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 88(1-2), pages 353-375, January.
  17. Lockwood, Ben, 1997. "Inter-Regional Insurance," Discussion Papers 9703, Exeter University, Department of Economics.
  18. Scotchmer, Suzanne, 2002. "Local public goods and clubs," Handbook of Public Economics, in: A. J. Auerbach & M. Feldstein (ed.), Handbook of Public Economics, edition 1, volume 4, chapter 29, pages 1997-2042 Elsevier.
  19. Charles M. Tiebout, 1956. "A Pure Theory of Local Expenditures," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 64, pages 416.
  20. Robert P. Inman & Daniel L. Rubinfeld, 1997. "Rethinking Federalism," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 11(4), pages 43-64, Fall.
  21. Picard, P. & Gilbert, G., 1992. "Incentives and the Optimal Size of Local Territories," Research Papers by the Department of Economics, University of Geneva 92.12, Département des Sciences Économiques, Université de Genève.
  22. Roger B. Myerson, 1978. "Optimal Auction Design," Discussion Papers 362, Northwestern University, Center for Mathematical Studies in Economics and Management Science.
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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. Kai A. Konrad & Stergios Skaperdas, 2005. "The Market for Protection and the Origin of the State," CESifo Working Paper Series 1578, CESifo Group Munich.
  2. Bönke, Timm & Jochimsen, Beate & Schröder, Carsten, 2011. "Fiscal equalization and regions' (un)willingness-to-tax: Evidence from Germany," Economics Working Papers 2011,06, Christian-Albrechts-University of Kiel, Department of Economics.
  3. Rosella Levaggi, 2008. "Decentralisation vs fiscal federalism in the presence of impure public goods," Working Papers 0812, University of Brescia, Department of Economics.
  4. 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).
  5. Timm Bönke & Beate Jochimsen & Carsten Schröder, 2013. "Fiscal Federalism and Tax Administration: Evidence from Germany," Discussion Papers of DIW Berlin 1307, DIW Berlin, German Institute for Economic Research.
  6. 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).
  7. 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.
  8. Huber, Bernd & Runkel, Marco, 2008. "Interregional redistribution and budget institutions under asymmetric information," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 92(12), pages 2350-2361, December.

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