Patronage-Preserving Federalism? Legislative Malapportionment and Subnational Fiscal Policies in Argentina
This paper builds on institutional analysis to generate new conclusions about the economic viability of federalism. It does so by suggesting that Weingast´s seminal model of marketpreserving federalism falls short of accounting for the poor fiscal performance of multitiered systems in the developing world. This theoretical deficiency stems to a large extent from the insufficient attention paid by this model to the institutional complexity of federal systems, particularly the public policy effects of legislative malapportionment. Subsequent to an analytical discussion of the potential public spending and distributive politics distortions resulting from overrepresentation, we offer preliminary empirical evidence from Argentina, a federation exhibiting one of the most decentralized fiscal systems in the world and severe imbalances in the territorial distribution of legislative and economic resources. The findings show not only that said imbalances lead to sub-optimal fiscal results but also that they have a mutually-reinforcing relationship with regionalized patronage.
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- Hans Pitlik & Friedrich Schneider & Harald Strotmann, 2005. "Legislative Malapportionment and the Politicization of Germany’s Intergovernmental Transfer System," CESifo Working Paper Series 1426, CESifo Group Munich.
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- Alberto Porto & Pablo Sanguinetti, 2001. "Political Determinants of Intergovernmental Grants: Evidence From Argentina," Economics and Politics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 13(3), pages 237-256, November.
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