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Intergovernmental competition, voice and exit options and the design of fiscal structure

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  • Michael Marlow

Abstract

Taxpayers may reveal their assessment of policy through exercise of available voice and exit options within the fiscal constitution. The voice option is utilized when taxpayers remain within political boundaries and attempt to communicate their assessments regarding the institutionalstatus quo to policymakers. Exercise of the exit option occurs when taxpayers signal discontent with thestatus quo by purchasing from another government supplier. This paper discusses and contrasts theconventional andconstitutional economics views toward fiscal design and argues that a major difference exists regarding the issue of who should be awarded primary responsibility in the policy process: taxpayers or policymakers? Because voice and exit options determine the relative leverage of taxpayers and policymakers in the policy process, it is argued that the design of voice and exit options in the fiscal constitution exerts a predictable influence on policy. The paper concludes that one's view toward the design of voice and exit options is affected by one's perception of the appropriate size of government. Competitive fiscal structures tend to be advocated by those who believe that government tends to overexpand and monopolistic structures tend to be advocated by those who believe that government tends to be too small. Copyright George Mason University 1992

Suggested Citation

  • Michael Marlow, 1992. "Intergovernmental competition, voice and exit options and the design of fiscal structure," Constitutional Political Economy, Springer, vol. 3(1), pages 73-88, December.
  • Handle: RePEc:kap:copoec:v:3:y:1992:i:1:p:73-88 DOI: 10.1007/BF02393233
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Laurence J. Kotlikoff & Daniel E. Smith, 1983. "Introduction to "Pensions in the American Economy"," NBER Chapters,in: Pensions in the American Economy, pages 1-19 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    2. Kotlikoff, Laurence J. & Smith, Daniel E., 1984. "Pensions in the American Economy," National Bureau of Economic Research Books, University of Chicago Press, edition 0, number 9780226451466.
    3. Pauly, Mark V., 1973. "Income redistribution as a local public good," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 2(1), pages 35-58, February.
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    Cited by:

    1. Marlow, Michael L., 1999. "Spending, school structure, and public education quality. Evidence from California," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 19(1), pages 89-106, February.
    2. Vanberg Viktor, 1993. "Constitutionally Constrained and Safeguarded Competition in Markets and Politics with reference to a European Constitution," Journal des Economistes et des Etudes Humaines, De Gruyter, vol. 4(1), pages 1-26, March.
    3. Kilper, Heiderose, 2005. "Föderalismus als Institution der Marktsicherung: Überlegungen zur Bedeutung dezentraler Staatsorganisation für regionale Wirtschaftszusammenhänge," Forschungs- und Sitzungsberichte der ARL: Aufsätze,in: Das föderative System in Deutschland: Bestandsaufnahme, Reformbedarf und Handlungsempfehlungen aus raumwissenschaftlicher Sicht, pages 42-57 Akademie für Raumforschung und Landesplanung (ARL) - Leibniz-Forum für Raumwissenschaften.
    4. Michael Marlow & William Orzechowski, 1997. "The Separation of Spending from Taxation: Implications for Collective Choices," Constitutional Political Economy, Springer, vol. 8(2), pages 151-163, June.
    5. Thomas Apolte, 2004. "Die eigentümliche Diskussion um Zentralisierung und Dezentralisierung in der Europapolitik," Perspektiven der Wirtschaftspolitik, Verein für Socialpolitik, vol. 5(3), pages 271-291, August.
    6. Samuel Staley & John Blair, 1995. "Institutions, quality competition and public service provision: The case of public education," Constitutional Political Economy, Springer, vol. 6(1), pages 21-33, December.

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