IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/p/fth/harver/1940.html
   My bibliography  Save this paper

Institutional Rules for Federations

Author

Listed:
  • Alberto Alesina
  • Ignazio Angeloni
  • Federico Etro

Abstract

We study the organization of federations — or international unions — which decide together the provision of certain public goods. The benefit of centralization depends on the internalization of the spillovers, that of decentralization on the adaptability to local differences. We individuate as an optimal institutional design a form of fiscal federalism based on decentralization of expenditures and a system of subsidies and transfers between countries. Since this solution can be politically unfeasible, we study institutional compromises between a centralized federation and a decentralized one. “Flexible unions” and federal mandates in which both the state and federal levels are involved in providing public goods are typically superior to complete centralization and politically feasible. Finally, we study the effects of a qualified majority voting rule in a centralized system: we find that it can be a useful device to correct a bias toward “excessive” union level activism.

Suggested Citation

  • Alberto Alesina & Ignazio Angeloni & Federico Etro, 2001. "Institutional Rules for Federations," Harvard Institute of Economic Research Working Papers 1940, Harvard - Institute of Economic Research.
  • Handle: RePEc:fth:harver:1940
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: http://www.economics.harvard.edu/pub/hier/2001/HIER1940.pdf
    Download Restriction: no

    Other versions of this item:

    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Torsten Persson & Gerard Roland & Guido Tabellini, 2000. "Comparative Politics and Public Finance," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, pages 1121-1161.
    2. Torsten Persson & Gérard Roland & Guido Tabellini, 1997. "Separation of Powers and Political Accountability," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 112(4), pages 1163-1202.
    3. Alberto Alesina & Ignazio Angeloni & Ludger Schuknecht, 2005. "What does the European Union do?," Public Choice, Springer, pages 275-319.
    4. Robert P. Inman & Daniel L. Rubinfeld, 1998. "Subsidiarity and the European Union," NBER Working Papers 6556, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    5. Alesina, Alberto F & Angeloni, Ignazio & Etro, Federico, 2001. "The Political Economy of International Unions," CEPR Discussion Papers 3117, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    6. Alesina, Alberto & Wacziarg, Romain, 1999. "Is Europe going too far?," Carnegie-Rochester Conference Series on Public Policy, Elsevier, pages 1-42.
    7. Wallace E. Oates, 1999. "An Essay on Fiscal Federalism," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 37(3), pages 1120-1149, September.
    8. Alesina, Alberto & Wacziarg, Romain, 1998. "Openness, country size and government," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 69(3), pages 305-321, September.
    9. Alberto Alesina & Romain Wacziarg, 1997. "Openness, Country Size and the Government," NBER Working Papers 6024, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    Citations

    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.
    as


    Cited by:

    1. Attilio Gardini & Giuseppe Cavaliere & Luca Fanelli, 2005. "Risk Sharing, avversione al rischio e stabilizzazione delle economie regionali in Italia," Rivista di Politica Economica, SIPI Spa, vol. 95(3), pages 219-266, May-June.
    2. Alberto Alesina & Ignazio Angeloni & Ludger Schuknecht, 2005. "What does the European Union do?," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 123(3), pages 275-319, June.
    3. Alberto Alesina & Ignazio Angeloni & Federico Etro, 2005. "International Unions," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 95(3), pages 602-615, June.
    4. Alesina, Alberto, 2003. "The Size of Countries: Does it Matter?," Scholarly Articles 4551794, Harvard University Department of Economics.
    5. Boggio, Margherita, 2011. "From Reluctant Privatization to Municipal Capitalism: an Overview on Ownership, Political Connections and Decentralization," MPRA Paper 46232, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    6. Robert A.J. Dur & Hein J. Roelfsema, 2002. "Why does Centralisation fail to internalise Policy Externalities?," Tinbergen Institute Discussion Papers 02-056/3, Tinbergen Institute, revised 11 Nov 2003.
    7. Libman, Alexander Mikhailovich, 2009. "Эндогенные Границы И Распределение Власти В Федерациях И Международных Сообществах
      [ENDOGENOUS BOUNDARIES AND DISTRIBUTION OF POWER In the Federation]
      ," MPRA Paper 16473, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    8. Giovanni Facchini & Cecilia Testa, 2009. "Who Is Against a Common Market?," Journal of the European Economic Association, MIT Press, vol. 7(5), pages 1068-1100, September.
    9. Islam, Roumeen, 2004. "What are the right institutions in a globalizing world? and... can we keep them if we have found them?," Policy Research Working Paper Series 3448, The World Bank.
    10. Alberto Alesina & Ignazio Angeloni & Federico Etro, 2001. "The Political Economy of International Unions," Harvard Institute of Economic Research Working Papers 1939, Harvard - Institute of Economic Research.
    11. Robert Dur & Hein Roelfsema, 2005. "Why does centralisation fail to internalise policy externalities?," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 122(3), pages 395-416, March.
    12. Tsui, Kai-Yuen & Wang, Youqiang, 2008. "Decentralization with political trump: Vertical control, local accountability and regional disparities in China," China Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 19(1), pages 18-31, March.
    13. Luciano Andreozzi & Roberto Tamborini, 2017. "Why is Europe engaged in an inter- dependence war, and how can it be stopped?," DEM Working Papers 2017/06, Department of Economics and Management.
    14. Bordignon, Massimo & Brusco, Sandro, 2006. "On enhanced cooperation," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 90(10-11), pages 2063-2090, November.
    15. Charles Wyplosz, 2012. "Fiscal Rules: Theoretical Issues and Historical Experiences," NBER Chapters,in: Fiscal Policy after the Financial Crisis, pages 495-525 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    16. Federico Etro, 2004. "The Political Economy of Fiscal and Monetary Unions," Giornale degli Economisti, GDE (Giornale degli Economisti e Annali di Economia), Bocconi University, pages 289-328.
    17. Facchini, Giovanni, 2002. "Why Join a Common Market? The Political Economy of International Factor Mobility in a Multi-country Setting," Working Papers 02-0121, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, College of Business.
    18. Brandi, Clara & Wohlgemuth, Michael, 2006. "Strategies of Flexible Integration and Enlargement of the European Union: a Club-theoretical and Constitutional Economics Perspective," Freiburg Discussion Papers on Constitutional Economics 06/7, Walter Eucken Institut e.V..
    19. Irwin, Gregor & Penalver, Adrian & Salmon, Chris & Taylor, Ashley, 2008. "Dealing with country diversity: challenges for the IMF credit union model," Bank of England working papers 349, Bank of England.
    20. Joachim Ahrens & Martin Meurers, 2003. "EU-Osterweiterung: Erfordert eine steigende Heterogenität der Mitglieder flexiblere EU-Institutionen?," ifo Schnelldienst, ifo Institute - Leibniz Institute for Economic Research at the University of Munich, vol. 56(19), pages 23-33, October.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • H73 - Public Economics - - State and Local Government; Intergovernmental Relations - - - Interjurisdictional Differentials and Their Effects
    • H61 - Public Economics - - National Budget, Deficit, and Debt - - - Budget; Budget Systems

    Statistics

    Access and download statistics

    Corrections

    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:fth:harver:1940. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Thomas Krichel). General contact details of provider: http://edirc.repec.org/data/ieharus.html .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If CitEc recognized a reference but did not link an item in RePEc to it, you can help with this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.