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Coordination in heterogeneous federal systems

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  • Loeper, Antoine

Abstract

We compare centralized and decentralized policy making in a federation in which policy heterogeneity is inherently costly and preferences vary across jurisdictions: all jurisdictions agree that some harmonization is desirable but no one agrees on the direction of harmonization. This type of collective choice problem arises when members of a federal system have to coordinate nonbudgetary policies such as laws, regulations, standards, or diplomatic policies. Contrary to the common wisdom, decentralization becomes optimal when coordination becomes very important. When coordination costs are symmetric, decentralization dominates centralization irrespective of the magnitude of externalities and the heterogeneity of preferences. In the case of discontinuous network effects, standardization never Pareto dominates decentralization.

Suggested Citation

  • Loeper, Antoine, 2011. "Coordination in heterogeneous federal systems," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 95(7-8), pages 900-912, August.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:pubeco:v:95:y:2011:i:7-8:p:900-912
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    Cited by:

    1. Martin Gregor, 2012. "Modeling positive inter-jurisdictional public spending spillovers," Working Papers IES 2012/16, Charles University Prague, Faculty of Social Sciences, Institute of Economic Studies, revised Jun 2012.
    2. Federico Etro, 2006. "Political geography," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 127(3), pages 321-343, June.
    3. Di Liddo, Giuseppe, 2017. "Are local agreements on equalization grants possible? A bargaining model with quasi-linear local preferences on local public goods," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 153(C), pages 9-11.
    4. Crettez, Bertrand & Deffains, Bruno & Musy, Olivier, 2016. "French legal origins: A Tocquevilian view," MPRA Paper 72582, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    5. repec:spo:wpecon:info:hdl:2441/6ggbvnr6munghes9oaso1e0k4 is not listed on IDEAS
    6. Martin Gregor & Lenka Stastna, 2012. "The decentralization tradeoff for complementary spillovers," Review of Economic Design, Springer;Society for Economic Design, vol. 16(1), pages 41-69, March.
    7. Crettez B. & Deffains B. & Musy O., 2010. "On Legal Cooperation and the Dynamics of Legal Convergence," Working Papers ERMES 1013, ERMES, University Paris 2.
    8. Martin Gregor, 2016. "A three-stage model of inter-jurisdictional public spending spillovers," Letters in Spatial and Resource Sciences, Springer, vol. 9(2), pages 201-217, July.
    9. Antonin Macé & Rafael Treibich, 2018. "On the Weights of Sovereign Nations," Working Papers halshs-01630090, HAL.
    10. Crettez Bertrand & Deffains Bruno & Musy Olivier, 2016. "Convergence of Legal Rules: Comparing Cooperative and Non-Cooperative Processes," Review of Law & Economics, De Gruyter, vol. 12(1), pages 13-35, March.
    11. Di Vita Giuseppe, 2015. "Centralization versus Decentralization of Legislative Production and the Effect on Litigation: A Case Study," Review of Law & Economics, De Gruyter, vol. 11(2), pages 267-291, July.
    12. Durante, Ruben & Gutierrez, Emilio, 2015. "Fighting Crime with a Little Help from my Friends: Political Alignment, Inter-Jurisdictional Cooperation and Crime in Mexico," CEPR Discussion Papers 10769, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    13. Ederington,Josh & Ruta,Michele, 2016. "Non-tariff measures and the world trading system," Policy Research Working Paper Series 7661, The World Bank.
    14. Bertrand Crettez & Bruno Deffains & Olivier Musy, 2013. "On the dynamics of legal convergence," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 156(1), pages 345-356, July.
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    17. Costa Lima, Rafael & Moreira, Humberto & Verdier, Thierry, 2012. "Centralized decision making against informed lobbying," CEPR Discussion Papers 9199, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    18. Loeper, Antoine, 2017. "Cross-border externalities and cooperation among representative democracies," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 91(C), pages 180-208.
    19. Baniak Andrzej & Grajzl Peter, 2011. "Interjurisdictional Linkages and the Scope for Interventionist Legal Harmonization," Review of Law & Economics, De Gruyter, vol. 7(2), pages 405-434, December.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Federalism Decentralization Coordination Externality Reciprocality Harmonization Law Regulation;

    JEL classification:

    • D62 - Microeconomics - - Welfare Economics - - - Externalities
    • D72 - Microeconomics - - Analysis of Collective Decision-Making - - - Political Processes: Rent-seeking, Lobbying, Elections, Legislatures, and Voting Behavior
    • H70 - Public Economics - - State and Local Government; Intergovernmental Relations - - - General
    • H73 - Public Economics - - State and Local Government; Intergovernmental Relations - - - Interjurisdictional Differentials and Their Effects

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