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Sharing a Government

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  • Ventura, Jaume

Abstract

This paper develops a simple theoretical framework to study a set of regions, each with its own regional government, who share a union or central government. These governments must decide whether to implement or discard a large number of projects that produce local benefits for the region that implements them, and externalities for the rest of the regions. Conflict or disagreement arises since different regions value projects differently. The classic assignment problem consists of deciding who decides these projects, either the union or the regional governments. It is well known that regional governments are insensitive to externalities. The key observation here is that the union government is insensitive to local beneÃ?ts. Thus, each government maximizes only a piece of the value of projects, and disregards the other one. This observations leads to simple and clear rules for solving the assignment problem.

Suggested Citation

  • Ventura, Jaume, 2019. "Sharing a Government," CEPR Discussion Papers 13893, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  • Handle: RePEc:cpr:ceprdp:13893
    as

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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Ben Lockwood, 2002. "Distributive Politics and the Costs of Centralization," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 69(2), pages 313-337.
    2. Besley, Timothy & Smart, Michael, 2007. "Fiscal restraints and voter welfare," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 91(3-4), pages 755-773, April.
    3. Ben Lockwood, 2008. "Voting, Lobbying, And The Decentralization Theorem," Economics and Politics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 20(3), pages 416-431, November.
    4. Dilip Mookherjee & Pranab K. Bardhan, 2000. "Capture and Governance at Local and National Levels," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 90(2), pages 135-139, May.
    5. 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.
    6. Bård Harstad, 2007. "Harmonization and Side Payments in Political Cooperation," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 97(3), pages 871-889, June.
    7. Seabright, Paul, 1996. "Accountability and decentralisation in government: An incomplete contracts model," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 40(1), pages 61-89, January.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    More about this item

    Keywords

    centralization and decentralization; European integration; externalities; Fiscal Federalism; Public Goods;

    JEL classification:

    • D72 - Microeconomics - - Analysis of Collective Decision-Making - - - Political Processes: Rent-seeking, Lobbying, Elections, Legislatures, and Voting Behavior
    • D79 - Microeconomics - - Analysis of Collective Decision-Making - - - Other
    • F15 - International Economics - - Trade - - - Economic Integration
    • F55 - International Economics - - International Relations, National Security, and International Political Economy - - - International Institutional Arrangements
    • H77 - Public Economics - - State and Local Government; Intergovernmental Relations - - - Intergovernmental Relations; Federalism

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