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The Economic Effects of Federalism and Decentralization - A Cross-Country Assessment

Listed author(s):
  • Stefan Voigt
  • Lorenz Blume

This paper explores the idea that institutional details matter and that attempts to estimate the economic effects of federalism by employing a simple dummy variable neglect potentially important institutional details. Based on a principal component analysis, seven aspects of both federalism and decentralization are used as variables for explaining differences in (1) fiscal policy, (2) government effectiveness, (3) economic productivity, and (4) happiness. The results show that institutional details do, indeed, matter. Different aspects of federalism impact on the outcome variables to different degrees. This study adds to our knowledge on the transmission mechanisms of federalism and decentralization.

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File URL: http://www.cesifo-group.de/portal/page/portal/DocBase_Content/WP/WP-CESifo_Working_Papers/wp-cesifo-2009/wp-cesifo-2009-08/cesifo1_wp2766.pdf
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Paper provided by CESifo Group Munich in its series CESifo Working Paper Series with number 2766.

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Date of creation: 2009
Handle: RePEc:ces:ceswps:_2766
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  1. Lorenz Blume & Stefan Voigt, 2011. "Federalism and decentralization—a critical survey of frequently used indicators," Constitutional Political Economy, Springer, vol. 22(3), pages 238-264, September.
  2. Bjørnskov, Christian & Dreher, Axel & Fischer, Justina A.V., 2010. "Formal institutions and subjective well-being: Revisiting the cross-country evidence," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 26(4), pages 419-430, December.
  3. Freille, Sebastian & Haque, Mohammad Emranul & Kneller, Richard Anthony, 2007. "Federalism, decentralisation and corruption," MPRA Paper 27535, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  4. Frey, Bruno S & Stutzer, Alois, 2000. "Happiness, Economy and Institutions," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 110(466), pages 918-938, October.
  5. Lorenz Blume & Jens Müller & Stefan Voigt & Carsten Wolf, 2009. "The economic effects of constitutions: replicating—and extending—Persson and Tabellini," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 139(1), pages 197-225, April.
  6. Enikolopov, Ruben & Zhuravskaya, Ekaterina, 2007. "Decentralization and political institutions," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 91(11-12), pages 2261-2290, December.
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  16. Davoodi, Hamid & Zou, Heng-fu, 1998. "Fiscal Decentralization and Economic Growth: A Cross-Country Study," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 43(2), pages 244-257, March.
  17. Treisman, Daniel, 2000. "The causes of corruption: a cross-national study," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 76(3), pages 399-457, June.
  18. Beck, Thorsten & Clarke, George & Groff, Alberto & Keefer, Philip & Walsh, Patrick, 2000. "New tools and new tests in comparative political economy - the database of political institutions," Policy Research Working Paper Series 2283, The World Bank.
  19. Hansjörg Blöchliger & David King, 2006. "Fiscal Autonomy of Sub-Central Governments," OECD Working Papers on Fiscal Federalism 2, OECD Publishing.
  20. Bednar,Jenna, 2009. "The Robust Federation," Cambridge Books, Cambridge University Press, number 9780521703963, September.
  21. Wildasin, David E., 1997. "Externalities and bailouts : hard and soft budget constraints in intergovernmental fiscal relations," Policy Research Working Paper Series 1843, The World Bank.
  22. Bednar,Jenna, 2009. "The Robust Federation," Cambridge Books, Cambridge University Press, number 9780521878999, September.
  23. Robert E. Hall & Charles I. Jones, 1999. "Why do Some Countries Produce So Much More Output Per Worker than Others?," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 114(1), pages 83-116.
  24. Salmon, Pierre, 1987. "Decentralisation as an Incentive Scheme," Oxford Review of Economic Policy, Oxford University Press, vol. 3(2), pages 24-43, Summer.
  25. Désirée Teobaldelli, 2011. "Federalism and the shadow economy," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 146(3), pages 269-289, March.
  26. Frey, Bruno S. & Luechinger, Simon, 2004. "Decentralization as a disincentive for terror," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 20(2), pages 509-515, June.
  27. Charles M. Tiebout, 1956. "A Pure Theory of Local Expenditures," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 64, pages 416-416.
  28. Axel Dreher, 2006. "Power to the People? The Impact of Decentralization on Governance," KOF Working papers 06-121, KOF Swiss Economic Institute, ETH Zurich.
  29. Samuels, David & Snyder, Richard, 2001. "The Value of a Vote: Malapportionment in Comparative Perspective," British Journal of Political Science, Cambridge University Press, vol. 31(04), pages 651-671, October.
  30. Feld, Lars P. & Voigt, Stefan, 2003. "Economic growth and judicial independence: cross-country evidence using a new set of indicators," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 19(3), pages 497-527, September.
  31. Ulrich Thießen, 2000. "Fiscal Federalism in Western European and Selected Other Countries: Centralization or Decentralization? What Is Better for Economic Growth?," Discussion Papers of DIW Berlin 224, DIW Berlin, German Institute for Economic Research.
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  33. Bjørnskov, Christian & Drehe, Axel & Fischer, Justina A.V., 2008. "On decentralization and life satisfaction," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 99(1), pages 147-151, April.
  34. 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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