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Small States, Large Unitary States and Federations

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  • Matthias Wrede

Abstract

Employing a political-economics approach, this paper compares small states and unions when the former fail to internalize cross-border externalities of publicly provided goods. It discusses two types of unions: federations with more than one level of government and unitary states. While unitary states are unable to differentiate public spending ac-cording to differing preferences, rents of governments in a federation are higher due to a common-pool problem. The comparison leads to the following results. (1) Citizens prefer small states to large states if spillover effects are weak. (2) They benefit from a multi-level government only if their preferences heavily differ from the median-voter’s preferences and if spillovers are strong. Based on this comparison the paper also dis-cusses the creation of unions. Making specific assumption on the distribution of prefer-ences, it analyzes strong Nash equilibria and coalition-proof equilibria at the union formation stage.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by CESifo Group Munich in its series CESifo Working Paper Series with number 729.

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Date of creation: 2002
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Handle: RePEc:ces:ceswps:_729

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Related research

Keywords: voting theory; electoral accountability; federations; strong Nash equilibria; coalition-proof equilibria.;

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References

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  1. Bernheim, B. Douglas & Whinston, Michael D., 1987. "Coalition-Proof Nash Equilibria II. Applications," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 42(1), pages 13-29, June.
  2. Matthias Wrede, 2002. "Vertical externalities and control of politicians," Economics of Governance, Springer, vol. 3(2), pages 135-151, 07.
  3. Bernheim, B. Douglas & Peleg, Bezalel & Whinston, Michael D., 1987. "Coalition-Proof Nash Equilibria I. Concepts," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 42(1), pages 1-12, June.
  4. Persson, Torsten & Roland, Gerard & Tabellini, Guido, 1997. "Separation of Powers and Political Accountability," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 112(4), pages 1163-1202, November.
  5. Alesina, Alberto F & Angeloni, Ignazio & Etro, Federico, 2001. "The Political Economy of International Unions," CEPR Discussion Papers 3117, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  6. John Ferejohn, 1986. "Incumbent performance and electoral control," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 50(1), pages 5-25, January.
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Cited by:
  1. 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.
  2. Bordignon, Massimo & Brusco, Sandro, 2006. "On enhanced cooperation," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 90(10-11), pages 2063-2090, November.
  3. Dalibor Roháč, 2009. "Why did the Austro-Hungarian Empire collapse? A public choice perspective," Constitutional Political Economy, Springer, vol. 20(2), pages 160-176, June.
  4. Federico Etro, 2004. "The Political Economy of Fiscal and Monetary Unions," Giornale degli Economisti, GDE (Giornale degli Economisti e Annali di Economia), Bocconi University, vol. 63(3-4), pages 289-328, December.
  5. Lukach, R. & Plasmans, J.E.J., 2002. "Measuring Knowledge Spillovers using Patent Citations: Evidence from the Belgian Firm's Data," Open Access publications from Tilburg University urn:nbn:nl:ui:12-92281, Tilburg University.
  6. Federico Etro, 2006. "Political geography," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 127(3), pages 321-343, June.
  7. Kersten Kellermann, 2008. "„Kosten der Kleinheit” und die Föderalismusdebatte in der Schweiz," Perspektiven der Wirtschaftspolitik, Verein für Socialpolitik, vol. 9(2), pages 196-225, 05.

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