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The New Federalism: Distributional Conflict, Voluntarism and Segregation

  • Horstmann, Ignatius J
  • Scharf, Kimberley

This paper examines a model of jurisdiction formation where individuals differ in both income and preferences, and where public provision choices within jurisdictions are the outcome of a political process, but can be supplemented by private contributions. Locational equilibria in this model can feature inefficient segregation along income lines, which is more likely to occur the larger is income heterogeneity. Furthermore, the model predicts that an increase in income heterogeneity can be accompanied by an increase in private provision. This prediction squares with the observed correlation in the U.S. between rising income inequality on the one hand, and recent trends towards fiscal devolution and privatization on the other.

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File URL: http://www.cepr.org/active/publications/discussion_papers/dp.php?dpno=2273
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Paper provided by C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers in its series CEPR Discussion Papers with number 2273.

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Date of creation: Oct 1999
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Handle: RePEc:cpr:ceprdp:2273
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  1. 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.
  2. Alesina, Alberto & Spolaore, Enrico, 1997. "On the Number and Size of Nations," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 112(4), pages 1027-56, November.
  3. Brueckner, Jan K., 1979. "Property values, local public expenditure and economic efficiency," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 11(2), pages 223-245, March.
  4. Bernheim, B Douglas, 1986. "On the Voluntary and Involuntary Provision of Public Goods," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 76(4), pages 789-93, September.
  5. Goodspeed, Timothy J., 1995. "Local income taxation: An externality, Pigouvian solution, and public policies," Regional Science and Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 25(3), pages 279-296, June.
  6. Hamilton, Bruce W, 1976. "The Effects of Property Taxes and Local Public Spending on Property Values: A Theoretical Comment," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 84(3), pages 647-50, June.
  7. Bolton, Patrick & Roland, Gerard, 1996. "Distributional Conflicts, Factor Mobility, and Political Integration," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 86(2), pages 99-104, May.
  8. Brueckner, Jan K., 1982. "A test for allocative efficiency in the local public sector," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 19(3), pages 311-331, December.
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