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Fiscal Federalism and Electoral Accountability

  • Toke Aidt
  • Jayasri Dutta

We study the efficient 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 efficient 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.cesifo-group.de/portal/page/portal/DocBase_Content/WP/WP-CESifo_Working_Papers/wp-cesifo-2010/wp-cesifo-2010-04/cesifo1_wp3022.pdf
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Paper provided by CESifo Group Munich in its series CESifo Working Paper Series with number 3022.

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Date of creation: 2010
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Handle: RePEc:ces:ceswps:_3022
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  9. Jean Hindriks & Benjamin Lockwood, 2005. "Decentralization and Electoral Accountability: Incentives, Separation, and Voter Welfare," CESifo Working Paper Series 1509, CESifo Group Munich.
  10. Crémer, Jacques & Palfrey, Thomas, 1994. "In or Out?: Centralization by Majority Vote," IDEI Working Papers 33, Institut d'Économie Industrielle (IDEI), Toulouse.
  11. Seabright, Paul, 1994. "Accountability and Decentralization in Government: An Incomplete Contracts Model," CEPR Discussion Papers 889, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  12. Lulfesmann, Christoph, 2002. "Central governance or subsidiarity: A property-rights approach to federalism," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 46(8), pages 1379-1397, September.
  13. Bordignon, Massimo & Colombo, Luca & Galmarini, Umberto, 2008. "Fiscal federalism and lobbying," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 92(12), pages 2288-2301, December.
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  16. 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.
  17. Ben Lockwood, 2002. "Distributive Politics and the Costs of Centralization," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 69(2), pages 313-337.
  18. Dixit, Avinash & Londregan, John, 1998. "Fiscal federalism and redistributive politics," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 68(2), pages 153-180, May.
  19. Edwards, Jeremy & Keen, Michael, 1996. "Tax competition and Leviathan," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 40(1), pages 113-134, January.
  20. Pranab Bardhan, 2002. "Decentralization of Governance and Development," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 16(4), pages 185-205, Fall.
  21. Crémer, Jacques & Palfrey, Thomas, 2000. "Federal Mandates by Popular Demand," IDEI Working Papers 120, Institut d'Économie Industrielle (IDEI), Toulouse, revised 2001.
  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. R Dur & H.J. Roelfsema, 2004. "Why Does Centralisation Fail to Internalise Policy Externalities?," Working Papers 04-09, Utrecht School of Economics.
  24. Besley, Timothy & Coate, Stephen, 2003. "Centralized versus decentralized provision of local public goods: a political economy approach," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 87(12), pages 2611-2637, December.
  25. Guillaume Cheikbossian, 2000. "Federalism, distributive politics and representative democracy," Economics of Governance, Springer, vol. 1(2), pages 105-122, 07.
  26. Amrita Dhillon & Susana Peralta, 2002. "Economic Theories Of Voter Turnout," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 112(480), pages F332-F352, June.
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