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Centralization Trade-off with Non-Uniform Taxation

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Abstract

When local public goods are provided by a centralized authority, spillovers are internalized, but heterogeneity in preferences may be suppressed. Besley and Coate (2003) recently examined this classic trade-off for a uniform tax regime with strategic delegation. Here, we extend their approach by allowing for a non-uniform tax regime. We find that centralization with nonuniform taxation unambiguously increases welfare in comparison to uniform-tax centralization. With non-cooperative legislators coming from symmetric districts, our centralization dominates decentralization for any degree of spillovers. In other cases, non-uniform taxation at least improves the odds of centralization, if measured by a utilitarian yardstick.

Suggested Citation

  • Martin Gregor & Peter Tuchyňa, 2007. "Centralization Trade-off with Non-Uniform Taxation," Czech Economic Review, Charles University Prague, Faculty of Social Sciences, Institute of Economic Studies, vol. 1(3), pages 223-253, November.
  • Handle: RePEc:fau:aucocz:au2007_223
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    1. Timothy Besley & Stephen Coate, 1999. "Centralized versus Decentralized Provision of Local Public Goods: A Political Economy Analysis," NBER Working Papers 7084, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    2. Dilip Mookherjee & Pranab K. Bardhan, 2000. "Capture and Governance at Local and National Levels," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 90(2), pages 135-139, May.
    3. Redoano, Michela & Scharf, Kimberly A., 2004. "The political economy of policy centralization: direct versus representative democracy," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 88(3-4), pages 799-817, March.
    4. Christos Kotsogiannis & Robert Schwager, 2006. "Political Uncertainty and Policy Innovation," Journal of Public Economic Theory, Association for Public Economic Theory, vol. 8(5), pages 779-805, December.
    5. Besley, Timothy & Coate, Stephen, 2003. "Centralized versus decentralized provision of local public goods: a political economy approach," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 87(12), pages 2611-2637, December.
    6. Massimo Bordignon & Luca Colombo & Umberto Galmarini, 2003. "Fiscal Federalism and Endogenous Lobbies' Formation," CESifo Working Paper Series 1017, CESifo Group Munich.
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    decentralization; taxation; local public goods;

    JEL classification:

    • H40 - Public Economics - - Publicly Provided Goods - - - General
    • H70 - Public Economics - - State and Local Government; Intergovernmental Relations - - - General
    • H72 - Public Economics - - State and Local Government; Intergovernmental Relations - - - State and Local Budget and Expenditures
    • P51 - Economic Systems - - Comparative Economic Systems - - - Comparative Analysis of Economic Systems

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