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Fiscal Federalism and Electoral Accountability

  • Aidt, T.
  • Dutta, J.

We study the e¢ cient allocation of spending and taxation authority in a federation in which federal politicians are exposed to electoral uncertainty. We show that centralization may, but need not, result in a loss of electoral accountability. We identify an important asymmetry between positive and negative externalities and show that centralization may not be e¢ cient in economies with positive externalities even when regions are identical and centralization does not entail a loss of accountability. We also show that decentralization can only Pareto dominate centralization in economies with negative externalities.

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File URL: http://www.econ.cam.ac.uk/research/repec/cam/pdf/cwpe1021.pdf
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Paper provided by Faculty of Economics, University of Cambridge in its series Cambridge Working Papers in Economics with number 1021.

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Date of creation: 30 Apr 2010
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Handle: RePEc:cam:camdae:1021
Contact details of provider: Web page: http://www.econ.cam.ac.uk/index.htm

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  8. Robert A.J. Dur & Hein J. Roelfsema, 2002. "Why does Centralisation fail to internalise Policy Externalities?," Tinbergen Institute Discussion Papers 02-056/3, Tinbergen Institute, revised 11 Nov 2003.
  9. Seabright, Paul, 1996. "Accountability and decentralisation in government: An incomplete contracts model," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 40(1), pages 61-89, January.
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  13. Luelfesmann, Christoph & Kessler, Anke & Myers, Gordon M., 2015. "The architecture of federations: Constitutions, bargaining, and moral hazard," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 124(C), pages 18-29.
  14. Edwards, Jeremy & Keen, Michael, 1996. "Tax competition and Leviathan," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 40(1), pages 113-134, January.
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  19. Bård Harstad, 2007. "Harmonization and Side Payments in Political Cooperation," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 97(3), pages 871-889, June.
  20. Per G. Fredriksson & Xenia Matschke & Jenny Minier, 2008. "Environmental Policy in Majoritarian Systems," Working papers 2008-01, University of Connecticut, Department of Economics, revised Sep 2009.
  21. Bordignon, Massimo & Colombo, Luca & Galmarini, Umberto, 2008. "Fiscal federalism and lobbying," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 92(12), pages 2288-2301, December.
  22. Mariano Tommasi & Federico Weinschelbaum, 2007. "Centralization vs. Decentralization: A Principal-Agent Analysis," Journal of Public Economic Theory, Association for Public Economic Theory, vol. 9(2), pages 369-389, 04.
  23. Torsten Persson & Gérard Roland & Guido Tabellini, 1997. "Separation of Powers and Political Accountability," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 112(4), pages 1163-1202.
  24. Dixit, Avinash & Londregan, John, 1998. "Fiscal federalism and redistributive politics," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 68(2), pages 153-180, May.
  25. Lulfesmann, Christoph, 2002. "Central governance or subsidiarity: A property-rights approach to federalism," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 46(8), pages 1379-1397, September.
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  27. Alberto Alesina & Enrico Spolaore, 1997. "On the Number and Size of Nations," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 112(4), pages 1027-1056.
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