How are constitutional rules sustained? We investigate this problem in the context of how the institutions of federalism are sustained. As Riker (1964) emphasizes, a central design problem of federalism is how to create institutions that at once grant the central government enough authority to provide central goods and police the subunits, but not so much that it usurps all public authority. Using a game theoretic model of institutional choice, we argue that, to survive, federal structures must be self-enforcing : the center and the states must have incentives to fulfill their obligations within the limits of federal bargains. Our model investigates the trade-offs among the benefits from central goods provision, the ability of the center to impose penalties for noncompliance, and the costs of states to exit. We also show that federal constitutions can act as coordinating devices or focal solutions that allow the units to coordinate on trigger strategies in order to police the center. Finally, the model generates a number of comparative statics concerning the degree of central power, the division of rents between the states and the center, and the degree of "central goods" provided as a function of the characteristics of the constituent units. Copyright 2005, Oxford University Press.
If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.
As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to look for a different version under "Related research" (further below) or search for a different version of it.
Volume (Year): 21 (2005)
Issue (Month): 1 (April)
|Contact details of provider:|| Postal: |
Fax: 01865 267 985
Web page: http://jleo.oupjournals.org/
|Order Information:||Web: http://www.oup.co.uk/journals|
When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:oup:jleorg:v:21:y:2005:i:1:p:103-135. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.
For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Oxford University Press)or (Christopher F. Baum)
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.