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Pork-barrel politics, discriminatory policies and fiscal federalism


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  • Roberson, Brian


This paper examines the role of discriminatory policy tools in a model of redistributive politics with jurisdictional specific projects. In equilibrium, the ability to tactically target both jurisdictional specific projects, with benefits concentrated within a given jurisdiction, and the costs associated with those projects across multiple jurisdictions, leads to inefficiency in the provision of the “local” projects. In particular, politically motivated discrimination in the provision of local projects and/or their associated costs results in the foregoing of efficient projects. However, greater discriminatory ability in the set of available policies lowers the level of inefficiency in the provision of the local projects. -- Dieser Aufsatz untersucht in einem Modell umverteilender Politik die Rolle von lokalen öffentlichen Gütern und öffentlichen Projekten in einzelnen Jurisdiktionen. Politiker können aus strategischen Gründen bestimmte lokale Projekte durchführen und dadurch gezielt bestimmte Gebietskörperschaften beeinflussen, welche die Vorteile dieser Projekte genießen, während die damit verbundenen Kosten von mehreren Jurisdiktionen getragen werden. Dies führt zu einer Ineffizienz in der Durchführung solcher lokalen Projekte. Insbesondere führt eine politisch motivierte Ungleichbehandlung verschiedener Gebietskörperschaften bei der Durchführung lokaler Projekte bzw. ihrer Finanzierung dazu, dass manche effizienten Projekte nicht durchgeführt werden. Allerdings geht diese Ineffizienz zurück, wenn es größere Möglichkeiten zu ungleicher Behandlungen verschiedener Jurisdiktionen gibt.

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Paper provided by Social Science Research Center Berlin (WZB) in its series Discussion Papers, Research Unit: Market Processes and Governance with number SP II 2006-15.

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Date of creation: 2006
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Handle: RePEc:zbw:wzbmpg:spii200615

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Keywords: Fiscal Federalism; redistributive politics; distributive politics; Colonel Blotto;


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  1. Kvasov, Dmitriy, 2007. "Contests with limited resources," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 136(1), pages 738-748, September.
  2. Brian Roberson, 2006. "The Colonel Blotto game," Economic Theory, Springer, vol. 29(1), pages 1-24, September.
  3. Laslier, Jean-Francois & Picard, Nathalie, 2002. "Distributive Politics and Electoral Competition," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 103(1), pages 106-130, March.
  4. A. Lizzeri & Persico N., 1999. "Provision of Public Goods Under Alternative Electral Incentives," Princeton Economic Theory Papers 99f4, Economics Department, Princeton University.
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