Advanced Search
MyIDEAS: Login to save this paper or follow this series

Centralization and accountability: theory and evidence from the Clean Air Act

Contents:

Author Info

  • Federico Boffa

    ()
    (Università di Macerata & IEB)

  • Amedeo Piolatto

    ()
    (Universitat de Barcelona & IEB)

  • Giacomo A. M. Ponzetto

    ()
    (CREI, Universitat Pompeu Fabra & Barcelona GSE)

Abstract

This paper studies fiscal federalism when voter information varies across regions. We develop a model of political agency with heterogeneously informed voters. Rent-seeking politicians provide public goods to win the votes of the informed. As a result, rent extraction is lower in regions with higher information. In equilibrium, electoral discipline has decreasing returns. Thus, political centralization efficiently reduces aggregate rent extraction. The model predicts that a region’s benefits from centralization are decreasing in its residents’ information. We test this prediction using panel data on pollutant emissions across U.S. states. The 1970 Clean Air Act centralized environmental policy at the federal level. In line with our theory, we find that centralization induced a differential decrease in pollution for uninformed relative to informed states.

Download Info

If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.
File URL: http://www.ieb.ub.edu/aplicacio/fitxers/2012/5/Doc2012-14.pdf
Our checks indicate that this address may not be valid because: 404 No s'ha trobat el component (http://www.ieb.ub.edu/aplicacio/fitxers/2012/5/Doc2012-14.pdf). If this is indeed the case, please notify ()
Download Restriction: no

Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Institut d'Economia de Barcelona (IEB) in its series Working Papers with number 2012/14.

as in new window
Length: 46 pages
Date of creation: 2012
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:ieb:wpaper:2012/5/doc2012-14

Contact details of provider:
Postal: Carrer del Tinent Coronel Valenzuela 1-11, 08034 Barcelona
Phone: 93 403 46 46
Fax: 93 403 98 32
Email:
Web page: http://www.ieb.ub.edu
More information through EDIRC

Related research

Keywords: Political centralization; government accountability; imperfect information; elections; environmental policy; air pollution;

Other versions of this item:

Find related papers by JEL classification:

This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:

References

References listed on IDEAS
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
as in new window
  1. Durante, Ruben & Labartino, Giovanna & Perotti, Roberto, 2011. "Academic Dynasties: Decentralization and Familism in the Italian Academia," CEPR Discussion Papers, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers 8645, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  2. Greenstone, Michael, 2004. "Did the Clean Air Act cause the remarkable decline in sulfur dioxide concentrations?," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 47(3), pages 585-611, May.
  3. Alberto Alesina & Ignazio Angeloni & Ludger Schuknecht, 2002. "What Does the European Union Do?," EUI-RSCAS Working Papers, European University Institute (EUI), Robert Schuman Centre of Advanced Studies (RSCAS) 61, European University Institute (EUI), Robert Schuman Centre of Advanced Studies (RSCAS).
  4. Grossman, Gene M & Krueger, Alan B, 1995. "Economic Growth and the Environment," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, MIT Press, vol. 110(2), pages 353-77, May.
  5. Miriam A. Golden & Lucio Picci, 2005. "Proposal For A New Measure Of Corruption, Illustrated With Italian Data," Economics and Politics, Wiley Blackwell, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 17, pages 37-75, 03.
  6. Gennaioli, Nicola & Voth, Hans-Joachim, 2011. "State Capacity and Military Conflict," CEPR Discussion Papers, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers 8699, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  7. Gray, Wayne B. & Shadbegian, R.J.Ronald J., 2004. "'Optimal' pollution abatement--whose benefits matter, and how much?," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 47(3), pages 510-534, May.
  8. Nannicini, Tommaso & Stella, Andrea & Tabellini, Guido & Troiano, Ugo, 2010. "Social Capital and Political Accountability," CEPR Discussion Papers, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers 7782, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  9. Simon Luechinger, 2009. "Valuing Air Quality Using the Life Satisfaction Approach," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, Royal Economic Society, vol. 119(536), pages 482-515, 03.
  10. Alberto Alesina & Ignazio Angeloni & Federico Etro, 2005. "International Unions," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, American Economic Association, vol. 95(3), pages 602-615, June.
  11. Patrick Bayer & Nathaniel Keohane & Christopher Timmins, 2006. "Migration and Hedonic Valuation: The Case of Air Quality," NBER Working Papers 12106, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  12. Olivier Blanchard & Andrei Shleifer, 2000. "Federalism With and Without Political Centralization. China versus Russia," Harvard Institute of Economic Research Working Papers, Harvard - Institute of Economic Research 1889, Harvard - Institute of Economic Research.
  13. Fredriksson, Per G & Gaston, Noel, 2000. "Environmental Governance in Federal Systems: The Effects of Capital Competition and Lobby Groups," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, Western Economic Association International, vol. 38(3), pages 501-14, July.
  14. List, John & Sturm, Daniel M, 2004. "How Elections Matter: Theory and Evidence from Environmental Policy," CEPR Discussion Papers, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers 4489, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  15. Timothy Besley & Michael Smart, 2005. "Fiscal restraints and voter welfare," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library 3769, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
  16. Timothy Besley & Robin Burgess, 2000. "The Political Economy of Government Responsiveness: Theory and Evidence from India," STICERD - Development Economics Papers - From 2008 this series has been superseded by Economic Organisation and Public Policy Discussion Papers, Suntory and Toyota International Centres for Economics 28, Suntory and Toyota International Centres for Economics and Related Disciplines, LSE.
  17. Janet Currie & Johannes F. Schmieder, 2008. "Fetal Exposure to Toxic Releases and Infant Health," NBER Working Papers 14352, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  18. Alesina, Alberto & Spolaore, Enrico, 1997. "On the Number and Size of Nations," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, MIT Press, vol. 112(4), pages 1027-56, November.
  19. Nicola Gennaioli & Ilia Rainer, 2007. "The modern impact of precolonial centralization in Africa," Journal of Economic Growth, Springer, Springer, vol. 12(3), pages 185-234, September.
  20. Michael Greenstone & John A. List & Chad Syverson, 2012. "The Effects of Environmental Regulation on the Competitiveness of U.S. Manufacturing," NBER Working Papers 18392, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  21. Lockwood, Ben, 2002. "Distributive Politics and the Costs of Centralization," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 69(2), pages 313-37, April.
  22. Dincecco, Mark & Katz, Gabriel, 2012. "State Capacity and Long-Run Performance," MPRA Paper 38299, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  23. Kenneth Y. Chay & Michael Greenstone, 1999. "The Impact of Air Pollution on Infant Mortality: Evidence from Geographic Variation in Pollution Shocks Induced by a Recession," NBER Working Papers 7442, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  24. Erwin Bulte & John A. List & Mark C. Strazicich, 2007. "Regulatory Federalism And The Distribution Of Air Pollutant Emissions," Journal of Regional Science, Wiley Blackwell, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 47(1), pages 155-178.
  25. Del Monte, Alfredo & Papagni, Erasmo, 2001. "Public expenditure, corruption, and economic growth: the case of Italy," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, Elsevier, vol. 17(1), pages 1-16, March.
  26. James M. Snyder, Jr. & David Strömberg, 2008. "Press Coverage and Political Accountability," NBER Working Papers 13878, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  27. Matthew Gentzkow, 2006. "Television and Voter Turnout," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, MIT Press, vol. 121(3), pages 931-972, 08.
  28. Randy A Becker & Vernon Henderson, 1999. "Costs of Air Quality Regulation," Working Papers, Center for Economic Studies, U.S. Census Bureau 99-9, Center for Economic Studies, U.S. Census Bureau.
  29. Matthew Gentzkow & Jesse M. Shapiro, 2010. "What Drives Media Slant? Evidence From U.S. Daily Newspapers," Econometrica, Econometric Society, Econometric Society, vol. 78(1), pages 35-71, 01.
  30. Giacomo A. M. Ponzetto, 2011. "Heterogeneous Information and Trade Policy," 2011 Meeting Papers, Society for Economic Dynamics 189, Society for Economic Dynamics.
  31. Dincecco,Mark, 2013. "Political Transformations and Public Finances," Cambridge Books, Cambridge University Press, Cambridge University Press, number 9781107617759.
  32. Edward L. Glaeser & Giacomo A. M. Ponzetto & Jesse M. Shapiro, 2004. "Strategic Extremism: Why Republicans and Democrats Divide on Religious Values," NBER Working Papers 10835, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  33. Matthew E. Kahn, 1996. "New Evidence on Trends in Vehicle Emissions," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 27(1), pages 183-196, Spring.
  34. Fan, C. Simon & Lin, Chen & Treisman, Daniel, 2009. "Political decentralization and corruption: Evidence from around the world," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, Elsevier, vol. 93(1-2), pages 14-34, February.
  35. Ferraz, Claudio & Finan, Frederico S., 2007. "Exposing Corrupt Politicians: The Effects of Brazil’s Publicly Released Audits on Electoral Outcomes," IZA Discussion Papers 2836, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  36. John J. Wallis & Price V. Fishback & Shawn E. Kantor, 2006. "Politics, Relief, and Reform. Roosevelt’s Efforts to Control Corruption and Political Manipulation during the New Deal," NBER Chapters, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc, in: Corruption and Reform: Lessons from America's Economic History, pages 343-372 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  37. List, John A. & Gallet, Craig A., 1999. "The environmental Kuznets curve: does one size fit all?," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, Elsevier, vol. 31(3), pages 409-423, December.
  38. Besley, Timothy & Coate, Stephen, 2003. "Centralized versus decentralized provision of local public goods: a political economy approach," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, Elsevier, vol. 87(12), pages 2611-2637, December.
  39. Dilip Mookherjee & Pranab K. Bardhan, 2000. "Capture and Governance at Local and National Levels," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, American Economic Association, vol. 90(2), pages 135-139, May.
  40. John A. List & Shelby Gerking, 2000. "Regulatory Federalism and Environmental Protection in the United States," Journal of Regional Science, Wiley Blackwell, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 40(3), pages 453-471.
  41. Assar Lindbeck & Jörgen Weibull, 1987. "Balanced-budget redistribution as the outcome of political competition," Public Choice, Springer, Springer, vol. 52(3), pages 273-297, January.
Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

Citations

Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.
as in new window

Cited by:
  1. Edward L. Glaeser, 2012. "Urban Public Finance," NBER Working Papers 18244, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.

Lists

This item is not listed on Wikipedia, on a reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.

Statistics

Access and download statistics

Corrections

When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:ieb:wpaper:2012/5/doc2012-14. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: ().

If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.

If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.

If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.