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The Politics of Checkbook Federalism


  • Marcelin Joanis


This article adopts the perspective of second-generation fiscal-federalism theory to provide an empirical assessment of Canada’s intergovernmental fiscal arrangements. In the context of the literature on the political economy of intergovernmental grant programs, it examines the influence of political considerations on the evolution of the Canadian fiscal arrangements under the Constitution Act of 1982 . Fixed-effect regression results exploiting data from the 1982 to 2012 period show a statistically significant relationship between changes in both federal and provincial electoral variables and changes in a province’s total federal transfer revenues. Changes to social transfers appear to be more reactive to changes in the political environment than do changes in equalization transfers.

Suggested Citation

  • Marcelin Joanis, 2018. "The Politics of Checkbook Federalism," Public Finance Review, , vol. 46(4), pages 665-691, July.
  • Handle: RePEc:sae:pubfin:v:46:y:2018:i:4:p:665-691

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    Cited by:

    1. Marco Catola, 2019. "Partial decentralisation and inter-governmental electoral competition in local public good provision," Discussion Papers 2019/243, Dipartimento di Economia e Management (DEM), University of Pisa, Pisa, Italy.

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    federalism; transfers; elections;
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