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Optimal Design of Intergovernmental Grants Under Asymmetric Information

  • Bernd Huber

    ()

  • Marco Runkel

    ()

This paper develops a theoretical explanation why it may be optimal for higher-level governments to pay categorical block grants or closed-ended matching grants to local governments. We consider a federation with two types of local governments which differ in the cost of providing public goods. The federal government redistributes between jurisdictions, but cannot observe the type of a jurisdiction. In this asymmetric information setting, it is shown that the second-best optimum can be implemented with the help of categorical block grants and closed-ended matching grants, but not with unconditional block grants or open-ended matching grants. Copyright Springer Science + Business Media, Inc. 2006

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File URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10.1007/s10797-006-1405-3
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Article provided by Springer in its journal International Tax and Public Finance.

Volume (Year): 13 (2006)
Issue (Month): 1 (January)
Pages: 25-41

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Handle: RePEc:kap:itaxpf:v:13:y:2006:i:1:p:25-41
Contact details of provider: Web page: http://www.springerlink.com/link.asp?id=102915

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  1. Wallace E. Oates, 1999. "An Essay on Fiscal Federalism," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 37(3), pages 1120-1149, September.
  2. Horst Raff & John Wilson, 1997. "Income Redistribution with Well-Informed Local Governments," International Tax and Public Finance, Springer, vol. 4(4), pages 407-427, November.
  3. Baretti, Christian & Huber, Bernd & Lichtblau, Karl, 2002. "A Tax on Tax Revenue: The Incentive Effects of Equalizing Transfers: Evidence from Germany," Munich Reprints in Economics 20129, University of Munich, Department of Economics.
  4. BUCOVETSKY, Sam & MARCHAND, Maurice & PESTIEAU, Pierre, . "Tax competition and revelation of preferences for public expenditure," CORE Discussion Papers RP -1352, Université catholique de Louvain, Center for Operations Research and Econometrics (CORE).
  5. Lockwood, Ben, 1997. "Inter-Regional Insurance," Discussion Papers 9703, Exeter University, Department of Economics.
  6. Massimo Bordignon & Paolo Manasse & Guido Tabellini, . "Optimal Regional Redistribution Under Asymmetric Information," Working Papers 93, IGIER (Innocenzo Gasparini Institute for Economic Research), Bocconi University.
  7. Cornes, Richard C. & Silva, Emilson C. D., 2002. "Local public goods, inter-regional transfers and private information," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 46(2), pages 329-356, February.
  8. Richard C. Cornes & Emilson C. D. Silva, 2003. "Public Good Mix in a Federation with Incomplete Information," Journal of Public Economic Theory, Association for Public Economic Theory, vol. 5(2), pages 381-397, 04.
  9. Bev Dahlby, 1996. "Fiscal externalities and the design of intergovernmental grants," International Tax and Public Finance, Springer, vol. 3(3), pages 397-412, July.
  10. Bird, Richard M. & Smart, Michael, 2002. "Intergovernmental Fiscal Transfers: International Lessons for Developing Countries," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 30(6), pages 899-912, June.
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