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Public budget composition, fiscal (de)centralization, and welfare

Author

Listed:
  • Calin Arcalean
  • Gerhard Glomm
  • Ioana Schiopu
  • Jens Suedekum

Abstract

We study the optimal degree of fiscal decentralization in a dynamic federal economy where governments decide on budget size and its allocation between public education and infrastructure spending. We find that full centralization of tax and expenditure policies is optimal when infrastructure productivity is similar across regions. When differences are not too large, partial centralization is optimal. With strong differences, full decentralization becomes optimal. National steady-state output tends to be highest under full decentralization. We provide a justification for the mixed evidence regarding the Oates conjecture by showing that full dominates partial decentralization, despite being inferior to complete decentralization.

Suggested Citation

  • Calin Arcalean & Gerhard Glomm & Ioana Schiopu & Jens Suedekum, 2010. "Public budget composition, fiscal (de)centralization, and welfare," Canadian Journal of Economics, Canadian Economics Association, vol. 43(3), pages 832-859, August.
  • Handle: RePEc:cje:issued:v:43:y:2010:i:3:p:832-859
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Alberto Alesina & Enrico Spolaore, 1997. "On the Number and Size of Nations," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 112(4), pages 1027-1056.
    2. Arcalean, Calin & Glomm, Gerhard & Schiopu, Ioana, 2012. "Growth effects of spatial redistribution policies," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 36(7), pages 988-1008.
    3. Arzaghi, Mohammad & Henderson, J. Vernon, 2005. "Why countries are fiscally decentralizing," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 89(7), pages 1157-1189, July.
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    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • H72 - Public Economics - - State and Local Government; Intergovernmental Relations - - - State and Local Budget and Expenditures
    • H74 - Public Economics - - State and Local Government; Intergovernmental Relations - - - State and Local Borrowing
    • E62 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Macroeconomic Policy, Macroeconomic Aspects of Public Finance, and General Outlook - - - Fiscal Policy

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