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Partial Fiscal Decentralization

  • Jan K. Brueckner


    (Department of Economics, University of California-Irvine)

The fiscal decentralization impulse now sweeping the world often leads to partial decentralization, where subnational governments are funded by central transfers, rather than leading to full local autonomy. Despite the practical important of this arrangement, the literature contains no economic analysis of a partial decentralization regime in a Tiebout-style model. This paper provides such an analysis, relying on the key assumption that public-good provision requires effort on the part of government officials. By choosing different degrees of effort, localities can then provide different public-good levels even when a fixed, common transfer constrains them to spend the same amount. A number of useful results are derived.

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Paper provided by University of California-Irvine, Department of Economics in its series Working Papers with number 070804.

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Length: 33 pages
Date of creation: Sep 2007
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:irv:wpaper:070804
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  1. Brueckner, Jan K., 2000. "A Tiebout/tax-competition model," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 77(2), pages 285-306, August.
  2. Oliver Lorz & Gerald Willmann, 2004. "On the Endogenous Allocation of Decision Powers in Federal Structures," Kiel Working Papers 1209, Kiel Institute for the World Economy.
  3. Lockwood, Ben, 1998. "Distributive Politics and the Costs of Centralization," CEPR Discussion Papers 2046, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  4. Scotchmer, Suzanne & Wooders, Myrna Holtz, 1987. "Competitive equilibrium and the core in club economies with anonymous crowding," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 34(2), pages 159-173, November.
  5. James R. Hines Jr (ed.), 0. "Tax Competition," Books, Edward Elgar, number 14897, March.
  6. Jan K. Brueckner, 2004. "Fiscal Decentralization with Distortionary Taxation: Tiebout vs. Tax Competition," International Tax and Public Finance, Springer, vol. 11(2), pages 133-153, 03.
  7. Wooders, Myrna, 1978. "Equilibria, the core, and jurisdiction structures in economies with a local public good," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 18(2), pages 328-348, August.
  8. Edwards, Jeremy & Keen, Michael, 1996. "Tax competition and Leviathan," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 40(1), pages 113-134, January.
  9. Shah, Anwar, 2004. "Fiscal decentralization in developing and transition economies: progress, problems, and the promise," Policy Research Working Paper Series 3282, The World Bank.
  10. Charles M. Tiebout, 1956. "A Pure Theory of Local Expenditures," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 64, pages 416.
  11. Robert Schwager, 1999. "Administrative Federalism and a Central Government with Regionally Based Preferences," International Tax and Public Finance, Springer, vol. 6(2), pages 165-189, May.
  12. Berglas, Eitan & Pines, David, 1980. "Clubs as a case of competitive industry with goods of variable quality," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 5(4), pages 363-366.
  13. Berglas, Eitan, 1976. "On the Theory of Clubs," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 66(2), pages 116-21, May.
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