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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 centralization is suboptimally low. Voters strategically delegate to representatives who are averse to public spending and hence prefer decentralized decisions in order to reduce their region's cost share. When spillovers are asymmetric, strategic delegation is stronger at the periphery than at the center.
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Suggested Citation

  • 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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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Giovanni Facchini & Oliver Lorz & Gerald Willmann, 2006. "Asylum seekers in Europe: the warm glow of a hot potato," Journal of Population Economics, Springer;European Society for Population Economics, vol. 19(2), pages 411-430, June.
    2. Jan Schnellenbach & Lars Feld & Christoph Schaltegger, 2010. "The impact of referendums on the centralisation of public goods provision: a political economy approach," Economics of Governance, Springer, vol. 11(1), pages 3-26, February.
    3. Federico Etro, 2006. "Political geography," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 127(3), pages 321-343, June.
    4. Feng Xie & David Levinson, 2009. "Governance choice on a serial network," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 141(1), pages 189-212, October.
    5. 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.
    6. 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.
    7. 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.
    8. 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.
    9. 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.
    10. 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.
    11. 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.
    12. 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.
    13. repec:eee:ecotra:v:13:y:2018:i:c:p:36-47 is not listed on IDEAS
    14. Lisa Grazzini & Alessandro Petretto, 2015. "Federalism with Bicameralism," German Economic Review, Verein für Socialpolitik, vol. 16(2), pages 138-160, May.
    15. 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.
    16. 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.
    17. Brueckner, Jan K., 2009. "Partial fiscal decentralization," Regional Science and Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 39(1), pages 23-32, January.
    18. Cheikbossian, Guillaume, 2008. "Rent-seeking, spillovers and the benefits of decentralization," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 63(1), pages 217-228, January.
    19. 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.
    20. 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.
    21. Oliver Lorz & Gerald Willmann, 2008. "Enlargement versus Deepening: The Trade-off Facing Economic Unions," Working Papers VIVES Research Centre for Regional Economics 2, KU Leuven, Faculty of Economics and Business, VIVES Research Centre for Regional Economics.
    22. Janos Feidler & Klaas Staal, 2012. "Centralized and decentralized provision of public goods," Economics of Governance, Springer, vol. 13(1), pages 73-93, March.
    23. repec:spr:empeco:v:54:y:2018:i:3:d:10.1007_s00181-017-1242-5 is not listed on IDEAS

    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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