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Comparing the distortionary effects of alternative in-kind intergovernmental transfers

This paper compares the distortions associated with alternative inter-governmental allocation rules when a central authority provides inputs for the provision of social services by local governments, and when local governments differ in their needs. Under a quantity-based mechanism, the input choices of high-need localities will tend to be distorted downwards. In order to convince the center of their higher needs, these communities signal their status by spending too little. However, under an expenditure-based mechanism the direction of distortion of the input choices of high-need localities depends on the price elasticity of demand for the local input. When demand is inelastic (elastic), in order to signal their high needs, high-need localities spend too much (little) on local inputs.

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Paper provided by Georgetown University, Department of Economics in its series Working Papers with number gueconwpa~03-03-17.

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Date of creation: 03 Sep 2003
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:geo:guwopa:gueconwpa~03-03-17
Contact details of provider: Postal: Georgetown University Department of Economics Washington, DC 20057-1036
Phone: 202-687-6074
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Order Information: Postal: Roger Lagunoff Professor of Economics Georgetown University Department of Economics Washington, DC 20057-1036
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  1. Antoine Faure-Grimaud & Jean-Jacques Laffont & David Martimort, 2000. "A Theory of Supervision with Endogenous Transaction Costs," Annals of Economics and Finance, Society for AEF, vol. 1(2), pages 231-263, November.
  2. Billy Jack, 2003. "The Organization of Public Service Provision," Working Papers gueconwpa~03-03-14, Georgetown University, Department of Economics.
  3. Besley, Timothy J. & Ghatak, Maitreesh, 2001. "Government versus Private Ownership of Public Goods," CEPR Discussion Papers 2725, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  4. repec:tpr:qjecon:v:116:y:2001:i:4:p:1343-1372 is not listed on IDEAS
  5. Bordignon, Massimo & Manasse, Paolo & Tabellini, Guido, 1996. "Optimal Regional Redistribution Under Asymmetric Information," CEPR Discussion Papers 1437, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  6. Bernd Huber & Marco Runkel, 2003. "Optimal Design of Intergovernmental Grants under Asymmetric Information," CESifo Working Paper Series 919, CESifo Group Munich.
  7. Seabright, Paul, 1994. "Accountability and Decentralization in Government: An Incomplete Contracts Model," CEPR Discussion Papers 889, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  8. Bardhan, Pranab & Mookherjee, Dilip, 2002. "Relative Capture of Local and Central Governments: An Essay in the Political Economy of Decentralization," Center for International and Development Economics Research, Working Paper Series qt9gx7t5hd, Center for International and Development Economics Research, Institute for Business and Economic Research, UC Berkeley.
  9. Timothy Besley & Maitreesh Ghatak, 2001. "Government Versus Private Ownership of Public Goods," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 116(4), pages 1343-1372.
  10. Laffont, Jean-Jacques & Martimort, David, 1998. "Transaction costs, institutional design and the separation of powers," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 42(3-5), pages 673-684, May.
  11. Richard C. Cornes & Emilson C. D. Silva, 2003. "Public Good Mix in a Federation with Incomplete Information," Journal of Public Economic Theory, Association for Public Economic Theory, vol. 5(2), pages 381-397, 04.
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