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Centralized Fiscal Spending by Supranational Unions

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  • Jenny Simon
  • Justin Mattias Valasek

Abstract

We study fiscal spending by supranational unions, where participation is voluntary and countries bargain over contributions to and the allocation of a central budget. We explore the link between the allocation and nations’ contributions that occurs since bargaining power is endogenous, and generically causes inefficiency. Interestingly, redistribution arises endogenously, despite nations being purely self-interested. However, there exists a trade-off between increasing equality and decreasing efficiency, which becomes more severe as the centralized budget increases. We also analyze partial ex-ante commitment through alternative decision-making institutions: Both majority rule and exogenous tax rules can improve efficiency.

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Paper provided by CESifo Group Munich in its series CESifo Working Paper Series with number 4321.

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Date of creation: 2013
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Handle: RePEc:ces:ceswps:_4321

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Related research

Keywords: supranational unions; efficiency; public goods; redistribution; federalism; legislative bargaining;

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  1. Bård Harstad, 2007. "Harmonization and Side Payments in Political Cooperation," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 97(3), pages 871-889, June.
  2. Barbera, Salvador & Matthew O. Jackson, 2004. "On the Weights of Nations: Assigning Voting Weights in a Heterogeneous Union," Working Papers 1196, California Institute of Technology, Division of the Humanities and Social Sciences.
  3. Giovanni Maggi & Massimo Morelli, 2006. "Self-Enforcing Voting in International Organizations," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 96(4), pages 1137-1158, September.
  4. Alberto Alesina & Ignazio Angeloni & Federico Etro, 2003. "International Unions," Harvard Institute of Economic Research Working Papers 2001, Harvard - Institute of Economic Research.
  5. 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.
  6. Conley, John P. & Wilkie, Simon, 1996. "An Extension of the Nash Bargaining Solution to Nonconvex Problems," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 13(1), pages 26-38, March.
  7. Philippe Aghion & Patrick Bolton, 2003. "Incomplete Social Contracts," Journal of the European Economic Association, MIT Press, vol. 1(1), pages 38-67, 03.
  8. Ben Lockwood, 2002. "Distributive Politics and the Costs of Centralization," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 69(2), pages 313-337.
  9. Herrero, Maria Jose, 1989. "The nash program: Non-convex bargaining problems," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 49(2), pages 266-277, December.
  10. Lin Zhou, 1997. "The Nash Bargaining Theory with Non-Convex Problems," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 65(3), pages 681-686, May.
  11. Nash, John, 1950. "The Bargaining Problem," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 18(2), pages 155-162, April.
  12. Lisa Maria Dellmuth & Michael F Stoffel, 2012. "Distributive politics and intergovernmental transfers: The local allocation of European Union structural funds," European Union Politics, , vol. 13(3), pages 413-433, September.
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