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The economic effects of federalism and decentralization—a cross-country assessment

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  • Stefan Voigt

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  • Lorenz Blume

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Abstract

This paper explores the idea that institutional details matter and that attempts to estimate the economic effects of federalism by employing a simple dummy variable neglect potentially important institutional details. Based on a principal component analysis, seven aspects of both federalism and decentralization are used as variables for explaining differences in (1) fiscal policy, (2) government effectiveness, (3) economic productivity, and (4) happiness. The results show that institutional details do, indeed, matter. Different aspects of federalism impact on the outcome variables to different degrees. This study adds to our knowledge on the transmission mechanisms of federalism and decentralization.
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Suggested Citation

  • Stefan Voigt & Lorenz Blume, 2012. "The economic effects of federalism and decentralization—a cross-country assessment," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 151(1), pages 229-254, April.
  • Handle: RePEc:kap:pubcho:v:151:y:2012:i:1:p:229-254
    DOI: 10.1007/s11127-010-9745-z
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Diaz-Serrano, Luis & Rodriguez-Pose, Andres, 2011. "Decentralization, Happiness, and the Perception of Institutions," CEPR Discussion Papers 8356, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    2. Goel, Rajeev K. & Mazhar, Ummad & Nelson, Michael A. & Ram, Rati, 2017. "Different forms of decentralization and their impact on government performance: Micro-level evidence from 113 countries," Economic Modelling, Elsevier, vol. 62(C), pages 171-183.
    3. Pelinescu, Elena & Anton, Lucian Vasile & Ionescu, Raluca & Tasca, Radu, 2010. "The Analysis of Local Budgets and Their Importance in the Fight Against the Economic Crisis Effects," Journal for Economic Forecasting, Institute for Economic Forecasting, vol. 0(5), pages 17-32.
    4. repec:rom:mrpase:v:9:y:2017:i:2:p:47-66 is not listed on IDEAS
    5. Stefan Voigt, 2011. "Positive constitutional economics II—a survey of recent developments," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 146(1), pages 205-256, January.
    6. Gutmann, Jerg & Voigt, Stefan, 2017. "Why Adopt a Federal Constitution? And why Decentralize? – Determinants Based on a New Dataset," ILE Working Paper Series 6, University of Hamburg, Institute of Law and Economics.
    7. Andrés Rodríguez-Pose & Kristina Maslauskaite, 2011. "Can policy make us happier? Individual characteristics, socio-economic factors and life satisfaction in Central and Eastern Europe," Cambridge Journal of Regions, Economy and Society, Cambridge Political Economy Society, vol. 5(1), pages 77-96.
    8. Luis Diaz-Serrano & Andrés Rodríguez-Pose, 2015. "Decentralization and the Welfare State: What Do Citizens Perceive?," Social Indicators Research: An International and Interdisciplinary Journal for Quality-of-Life Measurement, Springer, vol. 120(2), pages 411-435, January.
    9. Alexander Salter, 2015. "Calhoun’s concurrent majority as a generality norm," Constitutional Political Economy, Springer, vol. 26(3), pages 375-390, September.
    10. Pierre Salmon, 2013. "Decentralization and growth: what if the cross-jurisdiction approach had met a dead end?," Constitutional Political Economy, Springer, vol. 24(2), pages 87-107, June.
    11. David Bartolini & Agnese Sacchi & Domenico Scalera & Alberto Zazzaro, 2018. "The closer the better? Institutional distance and information blurring in a political agency model," Mo.Fi.R. Working Papers 146, Money and Finance Research group (Mo.Fi.R.) - Univ. Politecnica Marche - Dept. Economic and Social Sciences.
    12. repec:bla:jecsur:v:31:y:2017:i:4:p:1095-1129 is not listed on IDEAS
    13. Jorge Martinez-Vazquez & Santiago Lago-Peñas & Agnese Sacchi, 2017. "The Impact Of Fiscal Decentralization: A Survey," Journal of Economic Surveys, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 31(4), pages 1095-1129, September.
    14. Voigt, Stefan & Gutmann, Jerg & Feld, Lars P., 2015. "Economic growth and judicial independence, a dozen years on: Cross-country evidence using an updated Set of indicators," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 38(C), pages 197-211.
    15. Schaltegger Christoph A. & Winistörfer Marc M., 2014. "Zur Begrenzung der schleichenden Zentralisierung im Schweizerischen Bundesstaat / On government centralization and its limitation in Switzerland," ORDO. Jahrbuch für die Ordnung von Wirtschaft und Gesellschaft, De Gruyter, vol. 65(1), pages 183-228, January.
    16. Leonardo Letelier S. & José Luis Sáez Lozano, 2013. "Fiscal Decentralization in Specific Areas of Government. A Technical Note," Economía Mexicana NUEVA ÉPOCA, , vol. 0(2), pages 357-373, July-Dece.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Federalism; Decentralization; Fiscal federalism; Economic effects of constitutions; Constitutional economics; H71; H11;

    JEL classification:

    • H11 - Public Economics - - Structure and Scope of Government - - - Structure and Scope of Government
    • H71 - Public Economics - - State and Local Government; Intergovernmental Relations - - - State and Local Taxation, Subsidies, and Revenue

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