Political competition and the (in)effectiveness of redistribution in a federation
We analyze political and economic conditions in which the effectiveness of public redistribution might be low in a federation. In our economy, the central government redistributes income while local governments provide a pro poor local public good. If local public spending falls as a response to the ex-post tax-transfer distribution of income engineered by the policy of the central government then public redistribution might be ineffective in redistributing welfare. In this paper we address this issue. Our main findings are: first, if the party of some local government represents a coalition of voters with labor earning abilities below the average earning ability of the economy and the aggregate net transfer from the redistributive program is negative for residents in the locality then local public spending falls in this district as a response to the redistributive policy of the central government. Second, if local governments of all districts are controlled by parties representing voters with sufficiently high marginal utilities of income and labor earning abilities below the nationwide average labor earning ability then public redistribution induces all local governments to reduce local public spending.
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|Date of revision:||09 Dec 2012|
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- Jane G. Gravelle & Laurence J. Kotlikoff, 1987.
"The Incidence and Efficiency Costs of Corporate Taxation when Corporate and Noncorporate Firms Produce the Same Good,"
NBER Working Papers
2462, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Gravelle, Jane G & Kotlikoff, Laurence J, 1989. "The Incidence and Efficiency Costs of Corporate Taxation When Corporate and Noncorporate Firms Produce the Same Good," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 97(4), pages 749-80, August.
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