Decentralization and the Fate of Minorities
This paper analyses the welfare effects of a change from centralized to decentralized political authority. The potential disadvantage with decentralization in our model is that local dominant groups with rather “extreme” preferences may win the vote and implement policies that harm the well-being of local minorities. When the national median voter represents a “moderate” position, centralization can be seen as a way of protecting the interests of local minorities. Our main result is that the centralized solution may welfare dominate decentralization even in the absence of scale economics and interregional spillovers. We also demonstrate that increased segregation, increased mobility, and increased heterogeneity in preferences, factors that are normally considered to be arguments in favor of decentralization, may reduce the attractiveness of the decentralized solution from a welfare perspective. Finally, we show that when the national median voter is an “extreme” type, decentralization may represent a way of protecting local minority interests.
|Date of creation:||2003|
|Date of revision:|
|Contact details of provider:|| Postal: |
Phone: +49 (89) 9224-0
Fax: +49 (89) 985369
Web page: http://www.cesifo.de
More information through EDIRC
References listed on IDEAS
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
- Fernandez, Raquel & Rogerson, Richard, 1996. "Income Distribution, Communities, and the Quality of Public Education," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 111(1), pages 135-64, February.
- Cremer, Jacques & Palfrey, Thomas R., .
"In or Out?: Centralization by Majority Vote,"
879, California Institute of Technology, Division of the Humanities and Social Sciences.
- Bolton, Patrick & Roland, Gerard, 1996. "Distributional Conflicts, Factor Mobility, and Political Integration," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 86(2), pages 99-104, May.
- Ellingsen, Tore, 1998. "Externalities vs internalities: a model of political integration," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 68(2), pages 251-268, May.
- Raquel Fernandez & Richard Rogerson, 1999.
"Equity and Resources: An Analysis of Education Finance Systems,"
NBER Working Papers
7111, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Raquel Fernandez & Richard Rogerson, 2003. "Equity and Resources: An Analysis of Education Finance Systems," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 111(4), pages 858-897, August.
- Timothy Besley & Stephen Coate, 1999.
"Centralized versus Decentralized Provision of Local Public Goods: A Political Economy Analysis,"
NBER Working Papers
7084, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Besley, Timothy J. & Coate, Stephen, 2000. "Centralized versus Decentralized Provision of Local Public Goods: a Political Economy Analysis," CEPR Discussion Papers 2495, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
- Caroline Minter Hoxby, 1996. "Are Efficiency and Equity in School Finance Substitutes or Complements?," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 10(4), pages 51-72, Fall.
- Alesina, Alberto & Spolaore, Enrico, 1997.
"On the Number and Size of Nations,"
The Quarterly Journal of Economics,
MIT Press, vol. 112(4), pages 1027-56, November.
When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:ces:ceswps:_1032. 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: (Julio Saavedra)
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.