IDEAS home Printed from
MyIDEAS: Log in (now much improved!) to save this article

The Dynamics of Fiscal Federalism

Listed author(s):
  • Garello Pierre

    (Université d’Aix-Marseille III)

The contributions presented in this special issue bring to light the complexity of fiscal decentralization and consequently the need for a better understanding of the dynamics of fiscal federalism. This is precisely what that paper attempts to do by first reviewing briefly the standard arguments in favour of decentralization as well as the arguments against it. What is most missing, however, in these standards arguments is a reflection on the dynamics of fiscal federalism and, more generally, on the dynamics of fiscal systems. A large part of the paper is therefore devoted to the identification of the main forces governing such dynamics. A parallel with the market processes helps us to single out features which are shared by both process: the use of local knowledge, the possibility of comparing different products, and more generally, the incentive to discover new paths. Surely, it is more costly to citizens to change the fiscal regime than it is to change goods or services; but precisely, decentralization should reduce these costs hence accelerate the discovery process. Hence, because of the dynamics to which it gives birth, fiscal decentralization appears desirable even if its benefits might arise only after some learning process takes place and even if some fiscal incoherency might prevail during that process.Les contributions présentées dans ce numéro spécial mettent en lumière la complexité de la décent- ralisation du système fiscal et donc la nécessité pour une meilleure compréhension de la dynamique du fédéralisme fiscal. Cest précisément ce que cet article essaie de faire dans un premier temps en passant en revue brièvement les arguments standards en faveur de la décentralisation aussi bien que les arguments opposés. Ce qui manque le plus, cependant, dans ces arguments standards, cest une réflexion sur la dynamique du fédéralisme fiscal et plus généralement sur la dynamique des systèmes fiscaux. Une grande partie de larticle est ainsi consacrée à lidentification des principales forces qui gouvernent une telle dynamique. Un parallèle avec le processus de marché nous aide à établir des modèles partagés par ces processus : lutilisation de la connaissance locale, la possibilité de comparer différents produits et plus généralement, le stimulant de la découverte de nouveaux sentiers. Evidemment, il est plus coûteux pour les citoyens de changer de régime fiscal que de changer de bien ou de service ; mais précisément, la décentralisation devrait réduire ces coûts en accélérant le processus de découverte. Désormais, grâce à la dynamique à laquelle elle donne naissance, la décentralisation fiscale apparaît désirable même si les bénéfices peuvent ne venir quà la suite de processus dapprentissage et même si quelques incohérences fiscales subsistent durant ce processus.

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:
Download Restriction: For access to full text, subscription to the journal or payment for the individual article is required.

As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to look for a different version under "Related research" (further below) or search for a different version of it.

Article provided by De Gruyter in its journal Journal des Economistes et des Etudes Humaines.

Volume (Year): 13 (2003)
Issue (Month): 4 (December)
Pages: 1-23

in new window

Handle: RePEc:bpj:jeehcn:v:13:y:2003:i:4:n:1
Contact details of provider: Web page:

Order Information: Web:

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.:

in new window

  1. Frey, Bruno S. & Eichenberger, Reiner, 1996. "FOCJ: Competitive governments for Europe," International Review of Law and Economics, Elsevier, vol. 16(3), pages 315-327, September.
Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

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

When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:bpj:jeehcn:v:13:y:2003:i:4:n:1. 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: (Peter Golla)

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.

This information is provided to you by IDEAS at the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis using RePEc data.