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Centralized vs. Decentralized Redistribution: A Case for Interregional Transfer Mechanisms

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  • Andreas Pfingsten
  • Andreas Wagener

Abstract

According to conventional wisdom, Musgrave's “RedistributionBranch” should be assigned to the central level of governmentin a federation. Otherwise, fiscal externalities created by themobility of the poor would render decentralized redistributioninefficient, if not impossible. The paper objects to this viewand argues that decentralized intraregional redistribution canyield efficient outcomes if it is combined with cleverly designedinterregional transfer mechanisms. Within a general frameworkwe give necessary and sufficient conditions for interregionaltransfer schemes to implement efficient allocations as Nash equilibriaof a decentralized redistribution game. Copyright Kluwer Academic Publishers 1997

Suggested Citation

  • Andreas Pfingsten & Andreas Wagener, 1997. "Centralized vs. Decentralized Redistribution: A Case for Interregional Transfer Mechanisms," International Tax and Public Finance, Springer;International Institute of Public Finance, vol. 4(4), pages 429-451, November.
  • Handle: RePEc:kap:itaxpf:v:4:y:1997:i:4:p:429-451
    DOI: 10.1023/A:1008656830324
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. John B. Burbidge & Gordon M. Myers, 1994. "Redistribution within and across the Regions of a Federation," Canadian Journal of Economics, Canadian Economics Association, vol. 27(3), pages 620-636, August.
    2. Cremer, Helmuth & et al, 1996. "Mobility and Redistribution: A Survey," Public Finance = Finances publiques, , vol. 51(3), pages 325-352.
    3. Bhagwati, Jagdish N & Brecher, Richard A & Hatta, Tatsuo, 1983. "The Generalized Theory of Transfers and Welfare: Bilateral Transfers in a Multilateral World," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 73(4), pages 606-618, September.
    4. Sinn, Hans-Werner, 1990. "Tax harmonization and tax competition in Europe," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 34(2-3), pages 489-504, May.
    5. Robin W. Boadway & Frank R. Flatters, 1982. "Efficiency and Equalization Payments in a Federal System of Government: A Synthesis and Extension of Recent Results," Canadian Journal of Economics, Canadian Economics Association, vol. 15(4), pages 613-633, November.
    6. Buhl, Hans Ulrich & Pfingsten, Andreas, 1990. "On the distribution of public funds," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 6(3), pages 363-376, December.
    7. Brown, Charles C. & Oates, Wallace E., 1987. "Assistance to the poor in a federal system," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 32(3), pages 307-330, April.
    8. David E. Wildasin, 1994. "Income Redistribution and Migration," Canadian Journal of Economics, Canadian Economics Association, vol. 27(3), pages 637-656, August.
    9. Wildasin, David E, 1991. "Income Redistribution in a Common Labor Market," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 81(4), pages 757-774, September.
    10. Bureau, Dominique & Champsaur, Paul, 1992. "Fiscal Federalism and European Economic Unification," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 82(2), pages 88-92, May.
    11. Charles Blackorby & David Donaldson & Maria Auersperg, 1981. "A New Procedure for the Measurement of Inequality within and among Population Subgroups," Canadian Journal of Economics, Canadian Economics Association, vol. 14(4), pages 665-685, November.
    12. Leonid Hurwicz, 1994. "Economic design, adjustment processes, mechanisms, and institutions," Review of Economic Design, Springer;Society for Economic Design, vol. 1(1), pages 1-14, December.
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    Cited by:

    1. Figuieres, Charles & Hindriks, Jean, 2002. "Matching grants and Ricardian equivalence," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 52(1), pages 177-191, July.
    2. Jacques Drèze & Charles Figuières & Jean Hindriks, 2006. "Voluntary Matching Grants can Forestall Social Dumping," Working Papers 06-13, LAMETA, Universtiy of Montpellier, revised Nov 2006.
    3. Parviainen, Seija, 1998. "Redistribution and Risk Sharing in EMU," Discussion Papers 159, VATT Institute for Economic Research.
    4. Horst Raff & John Wilson, 1997. "Income Redistribution with Well-Informed Local Governments," International Tax and Public Finance, Springer;International Institute of Public Finance, vol. 4(4), pages 407-427, November.
    5. Traub, Stefan, 2003. "Federalism, Freedom of Movement, and Fiscal Equalization," Economics Working Papers 2003-06, Christian-Albrechts-University of Kiel, Department of Economics.
    6. Leonzio Rizzo, 2006. "Le inefficienze della competizione fiscale: una rassegna dei principali modelli teorici," Economia politica, Società editrice il Mulino, issue 1, pages 89-120.
    7. Wagener, Andreas, 2000. "Variable population size issues in models of decentralized income redistribution," Regional Science and Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 30(6), pages 609-625, December.
    8. Feld, Lars P, 2000. "Tax Competition and Income Redistribution: An Empirical Analysis for Switzerland," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 105(1-2), pages 125-164, October.

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