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"Beggar Thy Neighbor": Testing for Free Riding in State-Level Endangered Species Expenditures


  • List, John A
  • Bulte, Erwin H
  • Shogren, Jason F


An important public policy question that remains unresolved is whether devolution will enhance sensible policy making by exploiting informational asymmetries or, instead, trigger a "beggar thy neighbor" response and stimulate free riding amongst localities. We analyze this question within the framework of U.S. environmental policymaking by scrutinizing a unique panel data set on state-level endangered species expenditure patterns. Our empirical estimates are consistent with the notion that states free ride, which may lead to an expenditure equilibrium that is not Pareto efficient. Copyright 2002 by Kluwer Academic Publishers

Suggested Citation

  • List, John A & Bulte, Erwin H & Shogren, Jason F, 2002. ""Beggar Thy Neighbor": Testing for Free Riding in State-Level Endangered Species Expenditures," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 111(3-4), pages 303-315, June.
  • Handle: RePEc:kap:pubcho:v:111:y:2002:i:3-4:p:303-15

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Martin L. Weitzman, 1998. "The Noah's Ark Problem," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 66(6), pages 1279-1298, November.
    2. Martin L. Weitzman, 1992. "On Diversity," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 107(2), pages 363-405.
    3. John A. List, 2001. "Do Explicit Warnings Eliminate the Hypothetical Bias in Elicitation Procedures? Evidence from Field Auctions for Sportscards," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 91(5), pages 1498-1507, December.
    4. Martin L. Weitzman, 1993. "What to Preserve? An Application of Diversity Theory to Crane Conservation," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 108(1), pages 157-183.
    5. Andrew Metrick & Martin L. Weitzman, 1996. "Patterns of Behavior in Endangered Species Preservation," Land Economics, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 72(1), pages 1-16.
    6. Andrew Metrick & Martin L. Weitzman, 1998. "Conflicts and Choices in Biodiversity Preservation," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 12(3), pages 21-34, Summer.
    7. Boadway, Robin & Horiba, Isao & Jha, Raghbendra, 1999. "The Provision of Public Services by Government Funded Decentralized Agencies," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 100(3-4), pages 157-184, September.
    8. Merrifield, John, 2000. "State Government Expenditure Determinants and Tax Revenue Determinants Revisited," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 102(1-2), pages 25-50, January.
    9. Gardner M. Brown & Jason F. Shogren, 1998. "Economics of the Endangered Species Act," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 12(3), pages 3-20, Summer.
    10. Wallace E. Oates, 1991. "Studies In Fiscal Federalism," Books, Edward Elgar Publishing, number 342.
    11. Weitzman, M.L., 1992. "Diversity Functions," Harvard Institute of Economic Research Working Papers 1610, Harvard - Institute of Economic Research.
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    Cited by:

    1. Mumbunan, Sonny & Ring, Irene & Lenk, Thomas, 2012. "Ecological fiscal transfers at the provincial level in Indonesia," UFZ Discussion Papers 06/2012, Helmholtz Centre for Environmental Research (UFZ), Division of Social Sciences (ÖKUS).
    2. Oates, Wallace, 2001. "A Reconsideration of Environmental Federalism," Discussion Papers dp-01-54, Resources For the Future.
    3. Edward López & R. Jewell, 2007. "Strategic institutional choice: Voters, states, and congressional term limits," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 132(1), pages 137-157, July.
    4. Kumar, Surender & Managi, Shunsuke, 2009. "Compensation for environmental services and intergovernmental fiscal transfers: The case of India," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 68(12), pages 3052-3059, October.
    5. Jeffrey Flory & Uri Gneezy & Kenneth Leonard & John List, 2012. "Sex, competitiveness, and investment in offspring: On the origin of preferences," Artefactual Field Experiments 00072, The Field Experiments Website.
    6. Bonnie Harllee & Myungsup Kim & Michael Nieswiadomy, 2009. "Political influence on historical ESA listings by state: a count data analysis," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 140(1), pages 21-42, July.

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