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Harmonization and Side Payments in Political Cooperation

  • Bård Harstad

For two districts or countries that try to internalize externalities, I analyze a bargaining game under private information. I derive conditions for when it is efficient with uniform policies across regions—with and without side payments— and when it is efficient to prohibit side payments in the negotiations. While policy differentiation and side payments allow the policy to better reflect local conditions, they create conflicts between the regions and, thus, delay. The results also describe when political centralization outperforms decentralized cooperation, and they provide a theoretical foundation for the controversial "uniformity assumption" traditionally used by the fiscal federalism literature. (JEL C78, D72, D82, H77)

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File URL: http://www.aeaweb.org/articles.php?doi=10.1257/aer.97.3.871
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Article provided by American Economic Association in its journal American Economic Review.

Volume (Year): 97 (2007)
Issue (Month): 3 (June)
Pages: 871-889

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Handle: RePEc:aea:aecrev:v:97:y:2007:i:3:p:871-889
Note: DOI: 10.1257/aer.97.3.871
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  13. Matthias Wrede, 2006. "Uniformity Requirement and Political Accountability," Journal of Economics, Springer, vol. 89(2), pages 95-113, November.
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  18. Barrett, Scott, 2001. "International cooperation for sale," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 45(10), pages 1835-1850, December.
  19. Anat R. Admati & Motty Perry, 1987. "Strategic Delay in Bargaining," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 54(3), pages 345-364.
  20. Michael Hoel, 1992. "International environment conventions: The case of uniform reductions of emissions," Environmental & Resource Economics, Springer;European Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, vol. 2(2), pages 141-159, March.
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