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On the endogenous allocation of decision powers in federal structures

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  • Lorz, Oliver
  • Willmann, Gerald

Abstract

This paper provides a political-economy explanation of the degree of centralization in economic policy making. To determine which policies are to be centralized, regions select representatives who then negotiate the degree of centralization and the regional cost shares of centrally decided policies. We show that the resulting degree of cen- tralization is suboptimally low. Voters strategically delegate to repre- sentatives who are averse to public spending and hence prefer decen- tralized decisions in order to reduce their region's cost share. When spill-overs are asymmetric, strategic delegation is stronger at the pe- riphery than at the center.
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  • Lorz, Oliver & Willmann, Gerald, 2005. "On the endogenous allocation of decision powers in federal structures," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 57(2), pages 242-257, March.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:juecon:v:57:y:2005:i:2:p:242-257
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    Cited by:

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    3. Federico Etro, 2006. "Political geography," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 127(3), pages 321-343, June.
    4. Borge, Lars-Erik & Brueckner, Jan K. & Rattsø, Jorn, 2014. "Partial fiscal decentralization and demand responsiveness of the local public sector: Theory and evidence from Norway," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 80(C), pages 153-163.
    5. Guillaume Cheikbossian, 2016. "The political economy of (De)centralization with complementary public goods," Social Choice and Welfare, Springer;The Society for Social Choice and Welfare, vol. 47(2), pages 315-348, August.
    6. De Borger, Bruno & Proost, Stef, 2016. "Can we leave road pricing to the regions? -The role of institutional constraints," Regional Science and Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 60(C), pages 208-222.
    7. Barbara Dluhosch & Nikolai Ziegler, 2011. "The paradox of weakness in the politics of trade integration," Constitutional Political Economy, Springer, vol. 22(4), pages 325-354, December.
    8. Feder, Christophe, 2018. "Decentralization and spillovers: A new role for transportation infrastructure," Economics of Transportation, Elsevier, vol. 13(C), pages 36-47.
    9. Grazzini Lisa & Petretto Alessandro, 2015. "Federalism with Bicameralism," German Economic Review, De Gruyter, vol. 16(2), pages 138-160, May.
    10. Bruno Borger & Stef Proost, 2016. "The political economy of pricing and capacity decisions for congestible local public goods in a federal state," International Tax and Public Finance, Springer;International Institute of Public Finance, vol. 23(5), pages 934-959, October.
    11. Feld, Lars P. & Schaltegger, Christoph A. & Schnellenbach, Jan, 2008. "On government centralization and fiscal referendums," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 52(4), pages 611-645, May.
    12. Cheikbossian, Guillaume, 2008. "Rent-seeking, spillovers and the benefits of decentralization," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 63(1), pages 217-228, January.
    13. Feng Xie & David Levinson, 2009. "Governance choice on a serial network," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 141(1), pages 189-212, October.
    14. Federico Etro, 2004. "The Political Economy of Fiscal and Monetary Unions," Giornale degli Economisti, GDE (Giornale degli Economisti e Annali di Economia), Bocconi University, vol. 63(3-4), pages 289-328, December.
    15. Janos Feidler & Klaas Staal, 2012. "Centralized and decentralized provision of public goods," Economics of Governance, Springer, vol. 13(1), pages 73-93, March.
    16. Takeshi Miyazaki, 2018. "Internalization of externalities and local government consolidation: empirical evidence from Japan," Empirical Economics, Springer, vol. 54(3), pages 1061-1086, May.
    17. Oliver Lorz & Gerald Willmann, 2008. "Enlargement versus Deepening: The Trade-off Facing Economic Unions," CESifo Working Paper Series 2455, CESifo.
    18. Alderighi, Marco & Feder, Christophe, 2020. "Institutional design, political competition and spillovers," Regional Science and Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 81(C).
    19. Stephan Geschwind & Felix Roesel, 2021. "Taxation under Direct Democracy," CESifo Working Paper Series 9166, CESifo.
    20. Grégoire Rota Graziosi, 2009. "On the Strategic Use of Representative Democracy in International Agreements," Journal of Public Economic Theory, Association for Public Economic Theory, vol. 11(2), pages 281-296, April.
    21. Libman, Alexander Mikhailovich, 2009. "Эндогенные Границы И Распределение Власти В Федерациях И Международных Сообществах [ENDOGENOUS BOUNDARIES AND DISTRIBUTION OF POWER In the Federation]," MPRA Paper 16473, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    22. Marco Alderighi & Christophe Feder, 2014. "Political competition, power allocation and welfare in unitary and federal systems," Working Paper series 23_14, Rimini Centre for Economic Analysis.
    23. Janeba, Eckhard & Wilson, John Douglas, 2011. "Optimal fiscal federalism in the presence of tax competition," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 95(11), pages 1302-1311.
    24. Brueckner, Jan K., 2009. "Partial fiscal decentralization," Regional Science and Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 39(1), pages 23-32, January.
    25. Oliver Lorz & Gerald Willmann, 2013. "Size versus scope: on the trade-off facing economic unions," International Tax and Public Finance, Springer;International Institute of Public Finance, vol. 20(2), pages 247-267, April.

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    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • H77 - Public Economics - - State and Local Government; Intergovernmental Relations - - - Intergovernmental Relations; Federalism
    • H11 - Public Economics - - Structure and Scope of Government - - - Structure and Scope of Government
    • H41 - Public Economics - - Publicly Provided Goods - - - Public Goods

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