Federal Fiscal Constitutions. Part I: Risk Sharing and Moral Hazard
AbstractInspired by current European developments, we study equilibrium fiscal policy under alternative constitutional arrangements in a `federation' of countries. There are two levels of government: local and federal. Local policy redistributes across individuals and affects the probability of aggregate shocks, while federal policy shares international risk. Policies are chosen under majority rule. There is a moral-hazard problem: federal risk-sharing can induce local governments to enact policies that increase local risk. We investigate this incentive problem under alternative fiscal constitutions. In particular, we contrast a `horizontally-ordered' federal system like the United States (in which the federal government deals directly with individuals) with a `vertically-ordered' system like the EC (in which the federal government deals with national states). These alternative arrangements are not neutral, in the sense that they create different incentives for policy-makers and voters, and give rise to different political equilibria. A general conclusion is that centralization of functions and power can be welfare improving under appropriate institutions. This conclusion only applies, however, to the moral-hazard problem and a federation where the countries are not too dissimilar.
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Bibliographic InfoPaper provided by C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers in its series CEPR Discussion Papers with number 728.
Date of creation: Oct 1992
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- Torsten Persson & Guido Tabellini, . "Federal Fiscal Constitutions. Part I: Risk Sharing and Moral Hazard," EPRU Working Paper Series 93-04, Economic Policy Research Unit (EPRU), University of Copenhagen. Department of Economics.
- Torsten Persson & Guido Tabellini, 1992. "Federal fiscal constitutions part 1: risk sharing and moral hazard," Discussion Paper / Institute for Empirical Macroeconomics 72, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis.
- Persson, T. & Tabellini, G., 1992. "Federal Fiscal Constitutions ; Part I: Risk Sharing and Moral Hazard," Papers 519, Stockholm - International Economic Studies.
- Persson, T. & Tabellini, G., 1993. "Federal Fiscal Constitutions ; Part I: Risk Sharing and Moral Hazard," UFAE and IAE Working Papers 222.93, Unitat de Fonaments de l'Anàlisi Econòmica (UAB) and Institut d'Anàlisi Econòmica (CSIC).
- D70 - Microeconomics - - Analysis of Collective Decision-Making - - - General
- E60 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Macroeconomic Policy, Macroeconomic Aspects of Public Finance, and General Outlook - - - General
- H10 - Public Economics - - Structure and Scope of Government - - - General
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