IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/p/ces/ceswps/_2128.html
   My bibliography  Save this paper

Revisiting the “Decentralization Theorem” – On the Role of Externalities

Author

Listed:
  • Marko Köthenbürger

Abstract

The “Decentralization Theorem” (Oates, 1972) is central to the discussion of fiscal federalism. We revisit the role of consumption spillovers in evaluating the merits of (de)centralization. Unlike the general prediction, a higher degree of spillovers may reduce the difference in utility of centralization and decentralization. The non-monotonicity result relates to the difference in expenditures on public consumption. Provided decentralized choices yield higher levels of public expenditure, a rise in the amount of spillovers allows residents to enjoy larger gains in public consumption (and thereby utility) under decentralization relative to centralization.

Suggested Citation

  • Marko Köthenbürger, 2007. "Revisiting the “Decentralization Theorem” – On the Role of Externalities," CESifo Working Paper Series 2128, CESifo.
  • Handle: RePEc:ces:ceswps:_2128
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: https://www.cesifo.org/DocDL/cesifo1_wp2128.pdf
    Download Restriction: no
    ---><---

    Other versions of this item:

    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Charles M. Tiebout, 1956. "A Pure Theory of Local Expenditures," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 64, pages 416-416.
    2. Robert Barro & Silvana Tenreyro, 2007. "Economic Effects Of Currency Unions," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 45(1), pages 1-23, January.
    3. 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.
    4. Alberto Alesina & Ignazio Angeloni & Federico Etro, 2005. "International Unions," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 95(3), pages 602-615, June.
    5. Guido Tabellini, 2003. "Principles of Policymaking in the European Union: An Economic Perspective," CESifo Economic Studies, CESifo, vol. 49(1), pages 75-102.
    6. Alberto Alesina & Robert J. Barro, 2002. "Currency Unions," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 117(2), pages 409-436.
    7. Patrick Bolton & Gérard Roland, 1997. "The Breakup of Nations: A Political Economy Analysis," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 112(4), pages 1057-1090.
    8. Brueckner, Jan K., 2006. "Fiscal federalism and economic growth," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 90(10-11), pages 2107-2120, November.
    9. Bergstrom, Theodore & Blume, Lawrence & Varian, Hal, 1986. "On the private provision of public goods," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 29(1), pages 25-49, February.
    10. Wallace E. Oates, 1999. "An Essay on Fiscal Federalism," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 37(3), pages 1120-1149, September.
    11. Rubinchik-Pessach, Anna, 2005. "Can decentralization be beneficial?," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 89(7), pages 1231-1249, July.
    12. Jan K. Brueckner, 2004. "Fiscal Decentralization with Distortionary Taxation: Tiebout vs. Tax Competition," International Tax and Public Finance, Springer;International Institute of Public Finance, vol. 11(2), pages 133-153, March.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    Citations

    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.
    as


    Cited by:

    1. Aslim, Erkmen Giray & Neyapti, Bilin, 2017. "Optimal fiscal decentralization: Redistribution and welfare implications," Economic Modelling, Elsevier, vol. 61(C), pages 224-234.
    2. Lisa Grazzini & Alessandro Petretto, 2017. "Spillover Effects in a Federal Country with Vertical Tax Externalities," Public Finance Review, , vol. 45(5), pages 701-720, September.
    3. Martin Gregor & Lenka Stastna, 2012. "The decentralization tradeoff for complementary spillovers," Review of Economic Design, Springer;Society for Economic Design, vol. 16(1), pages 41-69, March.
    4. Francis Bloch & Ünal Zenginobuz, 2015. "Oates’ decentralization theorem with imperfect household mobility," International Tax and Public Finance, Springer;International Institute of Public Finance, vol. 22(3), pages 353-375, June.
    5. J.A. Bikker & D.E. van der Linde, 2015. "The Optimum Size of Local Public Administration," Working Papers 15-05, Utrecht School of Economics.
    6. Joan Costa-i-Font, 2012. "Fiscal Federalism and European Health System Decentralization: A Perspective," Europe in Question Discussion Paper Series of the London School of Economics (LEQs) 5, London School of Economics / European Institute.
    7. Myeonghwan Cho, 2013. "Externality and information asymmetry in the production of local public goods," International Journal of Economic Theory, The International Society for Economic Theory, vol. 9(2), pages 177-201, June.
    8. Janos Feidler & Klaas Staal, 2012. "Centralized and decentralized provision of public goods," Economics of Governance, Springer, vol. 13(1), pages 73-93, March.
    9. Laura Levaggi & Rosella Levaggi & Carmine Trecroci, 2015. "Waste disposal and decentralisation: a welfare approach," Working papers 17, Società Italiana di Economia Pubblica.

    Most related items

    These are the items that most often cite the same works as this one and are cited by the same works as this one.
    1. Paulo Arvate & Vladimir Ponczek, 2008. "Municipality secession, voter’s preference and persistence of power," Working Papers 08_07, Universidade de São Paulo, Faculdade de Economia, Administração e Contabilidade de Ribeirão Preto.
    2. Kimiko Terai, 2008. "Interregional Disparities in Productivity and the Choice of Fiscal Regime," Working Papers 070813, University of California-Irvine, Department of Economics.
    3. Kimiko Terai, 2009. "Interregional Disparities in Productivity and the Choice of Fiscal Regime," Journal of Public Economic Theory, Association for Public Economic Theory, vol. 11(3), pages 383-409, June.
    4. Lorz, Oliver & Willmann, Gerald, 2005. "On the endogenous allocation of decision powers in federal structures," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 57(2), pages 242-257, March.
    5. Vladimir Ponczek & Enlinson Mattos & Paulo Arvate, 2015. "Municipalities Secession and uncertainty on public goods provision," Economics Bulletin, AccessEcon, vol. 35(1), pages 198-203.
    6. Federico Etro, 2003. "Globalization and Political Geography," CESifo Working Paper Series 986, CESifo.
    7. Sanz Labrador, Ismael & Sanz-Sanz, José Félix, 2013. "Política fiscal y crecimiento económico: consideraciones microeconómicas y relaciones macroeconómicas," Macroeconomía del Desarrollo 134, Naciones Unidas Comisión Económica para América Latina y el Caribe (CEPAL).
    8. Hindriks, Jean & Lockwood, Ben, 2009. "Decentralization and electoral accountability: Incentives, separation and voter welfare," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 25(3), pages 385-397, September.
    9. Brueckner, Jan K., 2006. "Fiscal federalism and economic growth," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 90(10-11), pages 2107-2120, November.
    10. 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.
    11. Ignatius J. Horstmann & Kimberley A. Scharf, 2008. "A Theory of Distributional Conflict, Voluntarism and Segregation," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 118(527), pages 427-453, March.
    12. Luque, Jaime & Morelli, Massimo & Tavares, José, 2014. "A volatility-based theory of fiscal union desirability," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 112(C), pages 1-11.
    13. Franz Sinabell & Hans Pitlik & Erwin Schmid, 2009. "Zukunft der Finanzierung und Ausgaben der Gemeinsamen Agrarpolitik," WIFO Studies, WIFO, number 36165, June.
    14. Saarimaa, Tuukka & Tukiainen, Janne, 2012. "Politics in coalition formation of local governments," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 58528, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
    15. 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.
    16. Lars P. Feld & Wolfgang Kerber, 2006. "Mehr-Ebenen Jurisdiktionssysteme: Zur variablen Architektur von Integration," Marburg Working Papers on Economics 200605, Philipps-Universität Marburg, Faculty of Business Administration and Economics, Department of Economics (Volkswirtschaftliche Abteilung).
    17. Alberto Alesina & Ignazio Angeloni & Federico Etro, 2001. "The Political Economy of International Unions," NBER Working Papers 8645, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    18. Becerra, Ligia Melo, 2004. "Intergovernmental fiscal relations : the Colombian case," Economics PhD Theses 0304, Department of Economics, University of Sussex Business School.
    19. Robert P. Inman, 2008. "Federalism's Values and the Value of Federalism," NBER Working Papers 13735, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    20. Baicker, Katherine & Clemens, Jeffrey & Singhal, Monica, 2012. "The rise of the states: U.S. fiscal decentralization in the postwar period," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 96(11), pages 1079-1091.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    federalism; decentralization theorem; externality; policy uniformity;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • H10 - Public Economics - - Structure and Scope of Government - - - General
    • H30 - Public Economics - - Fiscal Policies and Behavior of Economic Agents - - - General
    • H70 - Public Economics - - State and Local Government; Intergovernmental Relations - - - General

    Statistics

    Access and download statistics

    Corrections

    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:ces:ceswps:_2128. 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: . General contact details of provider: https://edirc.repec.org/data/cesifde.html .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If CitEc recognized a bibliographic reference but did not link an item in RePEc to it, you can help with this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: Klaus Wohlrabe (email available below). General contact details of provider: https://edirc.repec.org/data/cesifde.html .

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.