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Representation and regional redistribution in federations

Author

Listed:
  • Tiberiu Dragu

    () (University of Illinois)

  • Jonathan Rodden

    () (Stanford University)

Abstract

This paper examines the role of institutions of territorial representation in shaping long-term patterns of inter-regional redistribution within federations. A simple legislative bargaining model with endogenous taxation suggests that over-represented states should be favored in the distribution of inter-governmental grants regardless of their income level. We demonstrate that a striking relationship between legislative representation and grants holds up in a diverse group of federations from around the world. The relationship appears not to be an artifact of economic development, population size, population density, or the historical conditions under which the federal bargain was struck. Furthermore, we suggest that the attractiveness of poor states as coalition partners implies that intergovernmental transfer systems will often tend toward progressivity under equal apportionment, but the systematic over-representation of wealthy (or poor) states can undermine (or bolster) this logic.

Suggested Citation

  • Tiberiu Dragu & Jonathan Rodden, 2010. "Representation and regional redistribution in federations," Working Papers 2010/16, Institut d'Economia de Barcelona (IEB).
  • Handle: RePEc:ieb:wpaper:2010/5/doc2010-16
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Sebastian Galiani & Iván Torre & Gustavo Torrens, 2016. "Fiscal Federalism and Legislative Malapportionment: Causal Evidence from Independent but Related Natural Experiments," Economics and Politics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 28(1), pages 133-159, March.
    2. Valentino Larcinese & Leonzio Rizzo & Cecilia Testa, 2013. "Why Do Small States Receive More Federal Money? U.S. Senate Representation and the Allocation of Federal Budget," Economics and Politics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 25(3), pages 257-282, November.
    3. Bev Dahlby & Jonathan Rodden, 2013. "A political economy model of the vertical fiscal gap and vertical fiscal imbalances in a federation," Working Papers 2013/18, Institut d'Economia de Barcelona (IEB).
    4. Saarimaa, Tuukka & Tukiainen, Janne, 2016. "Local representation and strategic voting: Evidence from electoral boundary reforms," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 41(C), pages 31-45.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Redistribution; federalism; intergovernmental transfers; malapportionment;

    JEL classification:

    • D72 - Microeconomics - - Analysis of Collective Decision-Making - - - Political Processes: Rent-seeking, Lobbying, Elections, Legislatures, and Voting Behavior
    • D78 - Microeconomics - - Analysis of Collective Decision-Making - - - Positive Analysis of Policy Formulation and Implementation
    • H77 - Public Economics - - State and Local Government; Intergovernmental Relations - - - Intergovernmental Relations; Federalism

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