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On the Incentives to Experiment in Federations

Author

Listed:
  • Christos Kotsogiannis

    (Department of Economics, University of Exeter)

  • Robert Schwager

    (Georg-August-Universitat Gottingen and Zentrum fur Europaische Wirtschaftsforschung Mannheim)

Abstract

Conventional wisdom has it that policy innovation is better promoted in a federal rather than in a unitary system. Recent research, however, has provided theoretical evidence to the contrary: a multi-jurisdictional system is characterized—due to the existence of a horizontal information externality—by under-provision of policy innovation. This paper presents a simple model that introduces political competition for federal o?ce and emphasizes that such competition plays an important role in shaping the incentives for experimentation. For, in this case, political actors use the innovative policies to signal ability to the electorate. This e?ect may o?set the e?ect that arises from the incentive to free ride, and so a federal system may generate more innovation than a unitary one.

Suggested Citation

  • Christos Kotsogiannis & Robert Schwager, 2005. "On the Incentives to Experiment in Federations," Discussion Papers 0507, Exeter University, Department of Economics.
  • Handle: RePEc:exe:wpaper:0507
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    File URL: http://people.exeter.ac.uk/cc371/RePEc/dpapers/DP0507.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Rincke, Johannes, 2005. "Neighborhood Influence and Political Change: Evidence from US School Districts," ZEW Discussion Papers 05-16, ZEW - Zentrum für Europäische Wirtschaftsforschung / Center for European Economic Research.
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    6. F. Berkhout, 1999. "Essay," Energy & Environment, , vol. 10(2), pages 209-212, March.
    7. Christos Kotsogiannis & Robert Schwager, 2006. "Political Uncertainty and Policy Innovation," Journal of Public Economic Theory, Association for Public Economic Theory, vol. 8(5), pages 779-805, December.
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    9. Wallace E. Oates, 1999. "An Essay on Fiscal Federalism," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 37(3), pages 1120-1149, September.
    10. Michael J. Keen & Christos Kotsogiannis, 2002. "Does Federalism Lead to Excessively High Taxes?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 92(1), pages 363-370, March.
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    Cited by:

    1. Federico Boffa & Amedeo Piolatto & Giacomo A. M. Ponzetto, 2011. "Political centralization and government accountability," Economics Working Papers 1335, Department of Economics and Business, Universitat Pompeu Fabra, revised Jul 2015.
    2. Andreas Wagener, 2013. "Tax Competition, Relative Performance, And Policy Imitation," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 54, pages 1251-1264, November.
    3. Melle Marco C., 2015. "Begünstigungen und Schranken in der europäischen Unternehmensbesteuerung – eine evolutorisch-ökonomische Sicht / Preferential treatments and barriers in the European company taxation – an evolutionary," ORDO. Jahrbuch für die Ordnung von Wirtschaft und Gesellschaft, De Gruyter, vol. 66(1), pages 115-146, January.
    4. Amihai Glazer & Hiroki Kondo, 2007. "Innovation and Imitation Across Jurisdictions," Working Papers 070807, University of California-Irvine, Department of Economics.
    5. Dreher, Axel & Fischer, Justina AV, 2007. "Decentralization as a disincentive for transnational terror? An empirical test," SSE/EFI Working Paper Series in Economics and Finance 686, Stockholm School of Economics.
    6. Rincke, Johannes, 2007. "Policy diffusion in space and time: The case of charter schools in California school districts," Regional Science and Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 37(5), pages 526-541, September.
    7. Millimet, Daniel L., 2013. "Environmental Federalism: A Survey of the Empirical Literature," IZA Discussion Papers 7831, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    8. Erdogdu, Erkan, 2013. "A cross-country analysis of electricity market reforms: Potential contribution of New Institutional Economics," Energy Economics, Elsevier, vol. 39(C), pages 239-251.
    9. Johannes Rincke, 2006. "Policy innovation in local jurisdictions: Testing for neighborhood influence in school choice policies," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 129(1), pages 189-200, October.
    10. Cassette, Aurélie & Farvaque, Etienne, 2016. "A dirty deed done dirt cheap: Reporting the blame of a national reform on local politicians," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 43(C), pages 127-144.
    11. Dreher, Axel & Lamla, Michael J. & Lein, Sarah M. & Somogyi, Frank, 2009. "The impact of political leaders' profession and education on reforms," Journal of Comparative Economics, Elsevier, vol. 37(1), pages 169-193, March.
    12. Axel Dreher & Justina Fischer, 2008. "Decentralization as a disincentive for transnational terror? System stability versus government efficiency: an empirical test," TWI Research Paper Series 41, Thurgauer Wirtschaftsinstitut, Universität Konstanz.
    13. Bjørnskov, Christian & Drehe, Axel & Fischer, Justina A.V., 2008. "On decentralization and life satisfaction," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 99(1), pages 147-151, April.
    14. Axel Dreher, 2006. "Power to the People? The Impact of Decentralization on Governance," KOF Working papers 06-121, KOF Swiss Economic Institute, ETH Zurich.
    15. Johannes Becker & Ronald B. Davies, 2015. "Learning to Tax ?- Interjurisdictional Tax Competition under Incomplete Information," Working Papers 201519, School of Economics, University College Dublin.
    16. Axel Dreher & Justina A. V. Fischer, 2010. "Government Decentralization As A Disincentive For Transnational Terror? An Empirical Analysis," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 51(4), pages 981-1002, November.
    17. Erdogdu, Erkan, 2013. "Essays on Electricity Market Reforms: A Cross-Country Applied Approach," MPRA Paper 47139, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    18. Johannes Rincke, 2009. "Yardstick competition and public sector innovation," International Tax and Public Finance, Springer;International Institute of Public Finance, vol. 16(3), pages 337-361, June.
    19. Thiess Büttner & Petra Enß & Fédéric Holm-Hadulla & Robert Schwager & Christiane Starbatty & Wiebke Webering, 2010. "Der kommunale Finanzausgleich in Mecklenburg-Vorpommern : langfristige Entwicklung und Reformperspektiven ; Teil I: Der vertikale Finanzausgleich ; Gutachten im Auftrag des Innenministeriums des Lande," ifo Forschungsberichte, ifo Institute - Leibniz Institute for Economic Research at the University of Munich, number 45, October.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Fiscal federalism; policy innovation; policy experimentation.;

    JEL classification:

    • H77 - Public Economics - - State and Local Government; Intergovernmental Relations - - - Intergovernmental Relations; Federalism
    • R59 - Urban, Rural, Regional, Real Estate, and Transportation Economics - - Regional Government Analysis - - - Other

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