Relative Capture of Local and Central Governments: An Essay in the Political Economy of Decentralization
AbstractA common presumption is that decentralization is prone to a potential pitfall owing to the greater vulnerability of local governments to capture by local elites. We investigate the determinants of relative capture of local and national governments theoretically, in the context of an extended version of the Baron-Grossman-Helpman model of electoral competition with lobbying by special interest groups. A number of factors do provide support to the traditional presumption, such as reduced cohesiveness of interest groups, higher levels of voter awareness, and greater electoral competition at the national level. A number of other factors may, however, create an opposite tendency for lower capture at the local level. These include less electoral uncertainty at the national level, and a higher value of campaign funds in national elections owing to their fungibility across different districts. Relative capture also depends on heterogeneity across districts with respect to levels of local inequality and poverty: accordingly decentralization will tend to increase capture in high inequality districts and lower it in low inequality districts. Power-sharing between parties at the national level, due either to coalition governments or proportional representation, limits the extent of national capture. We conclude that empirical research is necessary to investigate the extent and determinants of relative capture.
Download InfoIf 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.
Bibliographic InfoPaper provided by University of California at Berkeley in its series Center for International and Development Economics Research (CIDER) Working Papers with number C99-109.
Date of creation: 01 Dec 1999
Date of revision:
Contact details of provider:
Postal: University of California at Berkeley, Berkeley, CA USA
Web page: http://www.haas.berkeley.edu/groups/iber/wps/ciderwp.htm
More information through EDIRC
Postal: IBER, F502 Haas Building, University of California at Berkeley, Berkeley CA 94720-1922
Other versions of this item:
- Pranab Bardhan & Dilip Mookherjee, 1999. "Relative Capture of Local and Central Governments: An Essay in the Political Economy of Decentralization," Boston University - Institute for Economic Development 97, Boston University, Institute for Economic Development.
- Bardhan, Pranab & Mookherjee, Dilip, 2002. "Relative Capture of Local and Central Governments: An Essay in the Political Economy of Decentralization," Center for International and Development Economics Research, Working Paper Series qt9gx7t5hd, Center for International and Development Economics Research, Institute for Business and Economic Research, UC Berkeley.
- NEP-ALL-2000-01-17 (All new papers)
- NEP-CDM-2000-01-17 (Collective Decision-Making)
- NEP-PBE-2000-01-17 (Public Economics)
- NEP-POL-2000-01-17 (Positive Political Economics)
- NEP-PUB-2000-01-17 (Public Finance)
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.:
- Persson, Torsten & Tabellini , Guido, 1997.
"Political Economics and Macroeconomic Policy,"
630, Stockholm University, Institute for International Economic Studies.
- Torsten Persson & Guido Tabellini, . "Political Economics and Macroeconomic Policy," Working Papers 121, IGIER (Innocenzo Gasparini Institute for Economic Research), Bocconi University.
- Persson, T. & Tabellini, G., 1997. "Political Economics and Macroeconomic Policy," Papers 630, Stockholm - International Economic Studies.
- Persson, Torsten & Tabellini, Guido, 1997. "Political Economics and Macroeconomic Policy," CEPR Discussion Papers 1759, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
- Torsten Persson & Guido Tabellini, 1997. "Political Economics and Macroeconomic Policy," NBER Working Papers 6329, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Gene Grossman & Elhanan Helpman, 1994.
"Electoral Competition and Special Interest Politics,"
NBER Working Papers
4877, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Grossman, Gene M & Helpman, Elhanan, 1996. "Electoral Competition and Special Interest Politics," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 63(2), pages 265-86, April.
- R. L. Hanson & J. T. Hartman, . "Do welfare magnets attract?," Institute for Research on Poverty Discussion Papers 1028-94, University of Wisconsin Institute for Research on Poverty.
- Galasso, Emanuela & Ravallion, Martin, 2000. "Distributional outcomes of a decentralized welfare program," Policy Research Working Paper Series 2316, The World Bank.
This item has more than 25 citations. To prevent cluttering this page, these citations are listed on a separate page. reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.Access and download statisticsgeneral 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: (Christopher F. Baum).
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.