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Distributional Conflict and Jurisdictional Organization


  • Wärneryd, Karl

    () (Department of Economics)


The paper explores the implications for explaining the endogenous formation of jurisdictions of modelling the political process as a costly fight to acquire shares of the GNP pie. It is shown, in particular, that a system of federalism is especially significant in ameliorating distributional competition and conflict. Less resources are spent in aggregate on appropriative activities under a hierarchical system of federalism than in a unified jurisdiction with a single central government. Furthermore, if mobility is costless, then a form of federalism may be preferred by all agents even if it destroys resources.

Suggested Citation

  • Wärneryd, Karl, 1997. "Distributional Conflict and Jurisdictional Organization," SSE/EFI Working Paper Series in Economics and Finance 173, Stockholm School of Economics.
  • Handle: RePEc:hhs:hastef:0173

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Alberto Alesina & Enrico Spolaore, 1997. "On the Number and Size of Nations," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 112(4), pages 1027-1056.
    2. Skaperdas, Stergios, 1992. "Cooperation, Conflict, and Power in the Absence of Property Rights," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 82(4), pages 720-739, September.
    3. Hirshleifer, Jack, 1991. "The Technology of Conflict as an Economic Activity," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 81(2), pages 130-134, May.
    4. Hirshleifer, Jack, 1995. "Anarchy and Its Breakdown," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 103(1), pages 26-52, February.
    5. Vaubel, Roland, 1994. "The Political Economy of Centralization and the European Community," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 81(1-2), pages 151-190, October.
    6. Arye L. Hillman & John G. Riley, 1989. "Politically Contestable Rents And Transfers," Economics and Politics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 1(1), pages 17-39, March.
    7. Nitzan, Shmuel, 1991. "Collective Rent Dissipation," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 101(409), pages 1522-1534, November.
    8. Buchanan, James M & Faith, Roger L, 1987. "Secession and the Limits of Taxation: Toward a Theory of Internal Exit," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 77(5), pages 1023-1031, December.
    9. Homburg, Stefan, 1997. "Ursachen und Wirkungen eines zwischenstaatlichen Finanzausgleichs," EconStor Open Access Articles, ZBW - German National Library of Economics, pages 61-95.
    10. Katz, Eliakim & Tokatlidu, Julia, 1996. "Group competition for rents," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 12(4), pages 599-607, December.
    11. Dixit, Avinash K, 1987. "Strategic Behavior in Contests," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 77(5), pages 891-898, December.
    12. Nitzan, Shmuel, 1994. "Modelling rent-seeking contests," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 10(1), pages 41-60, May.
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    More about this item


    Federalism; contests; rent seeking; jurisdictions; centralization;

    JEL classification:

    • D72 - Microeconomics - - Analysis of Collective Decision-Making - - - Political Processes: Rent-seeking, Lobbying, Elections, Legislatures, and Voting Behavior
    • H11 - Public Economics - - Structure and Scope of Government - - - Structure and Scope of Government
    • H73 - Public Economics - - State and Local Government; Intergovernmental Relations - - - Interjurisdictional Differentials and Their Effects


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