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Federalism and Accountability with Distorted Election Choices

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  • Sebastian Kessing

Abstract

Random factors such as bad weather or exogenous economic shocks affect the re-election of politicians and can reduce accountability. Such distorted election choices interact with the architecture of government. Contrasting centralized with decentralized political systems, this study shows that centralization is likely to result in higher accountability if election choices are subject to small random distortions. Furthermore, equity and efficiency arguments for uniform policies in centralized systems are derived as these are likely to result in the better overall performance of politicians and in more equal performance across regions.

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Paper provided by CESifo Group Munich in its series CESifo Working Paper Series with number 2789.

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Date of creation: 2009
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Handle: RePEc:ces:ceswps:_2789

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Keywords: accountability; federalism; decentralization; retrospective voting; Condorcet Jury Theorem;

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References

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  1. Hindriks, Jean & Lockwood, Ben, 2009. "Decentralization and electoral accountability: Incentives, separation and voter welfare," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 25(3), pages 385-397, September.
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  6. Seabright, Paul, 1994. "Accountability and Decentralization in Government: An Incomplete Contracts Model," CEPR Discussion Papers 889, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  7. Matthias Wrede, 2006. "Uniformity Requirement and Political Accountability," Journal of Economics, Springer, vol. 89(2), pages 95-113, November.
  8. Wolfers, Justin, 2002. "Are Voters Rational? Evidence from Gubernatorial Elections," Research Papers 1730, Stanford University, Graduate School of Business.
  9. Drew Fudenberg & Jean Tirole, 1991. "Game Theory," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 0262061414, December.
  10. John Ferejohn, 1986. "Incumbent performance and electoral control," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 50(1), pages 5-25, January.
  11. Fisman, Raymond & Gatti, Roberta, 2002. "Decentralization and corruption: evidence across countries," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 83(3), pages 325-345, March.
  12. Fan, C. Simon & Lin, Chen & Treisman, Daniel, 2009. "Political decentralization and corruption: Evidence from around the world," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 93(1-2), pages 14-34, February.
  13. Revelli, Federico & Tovmo, Per, 2007. "Revealed yardstick competition: Local government efficiency patterns in Norway," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 62(1), pages 121-134, July.
  14. Davoodi, Hamid & Zou, Heng-fu, 1998. "Fiscal Decentralization and Economic Growth: A Cross-Country Study," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 43(2), pages 244-257, March.
  15. Thornton, John, 2007. "Fiscal decentralization and economic growth reconsidered," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 61(1), pages 64-70, January.
  16. Cole, Shawn & Healy, Andrew & Werker, Eric, 2012. "Do voters demand responsive governments? Evidence from Indian disaster relief," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 97(2), pages 167-181.
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  18. Cheikbossian, Guillaume, 2008. "Rent-seeking, spillovers and the benefits of decentralization," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 63(1), pages 217-228, January.
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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. Mario Jametti & Marcelin Joanis, 2014. "Elections and de facto Expenditure Decentralization in Canada," CESifo Working Paper Series 4791, CESifo Group Munich.
  2. Reingewertz, Yaniv, 2012. "Do municipal amalgamations work? Evidence from municipalities in Israel," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 72(2), pages 240-251.
  3. Zudenkova, Galina, 2011. "A political agency model of coattail voting," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 95(11), pages 1652-1660.
  4. Antonio Farfan-Vallespin, 2012. "Decentralization as Unbundling of Public Goods Provision - New Effects of Decentralization on Efficiency and Electoral Control," Discussion Paper Series 21, Department of International Economic Policy, University of Freiburg, revised Nov 2012.
  5. Joanis, Marcelin, 2014. "Shared accountability and partial decentralization in local public good provision," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 107(C), pages 28-37.
  6. Farfan-Vallespin, Antonio, 2010. "Electoral Control under Decentralization: Decentralization as unbundling of public goods provision," Proceedings of the German Development Economics Conference, Hannover 2010 37, Verein für Socialpolitik, Research Committee Development Economics.

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