Federal fiscal constitutions part 1: risk sharing and moral hazard
AbstractInspired by the 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 the local governments to enact policies that increase local risk. We investigate this incentive problem under alternative fiscal constitutions. In particular, we contrast a vertically ordered system like the EC with a horizontally ordered federal system like the US. These alternative arrangements are not neutral, in the sense that they create different incentives for policymakers 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. However, this conclusion only applies to the moral hazard problem and a federation where the countries are not too dissimilar.
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Bibliographic InfoPaper provided by Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis in its series Discussion Paper / Institute for Empirical Macroeconomics with number 72.
Date of creation: 1992
Date of revision:
Other versions of this item:
- Persson, Torsten & Tabellini, Guido, 1992. "Federal Fiscal Constitutions. Part I: Risk Sharing and Moral Hazard," CEPR Discussion Papers 728, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
- 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).
- 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.
- Persson, T. & Tabellini, G., 1992. "Federal Fiscal Constitutions ; Part I: Risk Sharing and Moral Hazard," Papers 519, Stockholm - International Economic Studies.
- 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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