IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/p/pra/mprapa/13625.html
   My bibliography  Save this paper

Federalism and Public Choice

Author

Listed:
  • Hills, Roderick

Abstract

This paper is a draft chapter for an edited collection on Law and Public Choice being published by Edward Elgar and edited by Dan Farber and Anne Joseph O’Connell. The chapter provides an overview of public choice literature regarding three aspects of federalism - exit-based normative justifications for federal regimes, voice-based normative justifications for federal regimes, and positive theories for how federal regimes are sustained through the political process. In general, I suggest that the most promising trend in public choice theory is the effort of economists, political scientists, and lawyers to tackle the thorny question of “voice” in federal regimes - that is, how subnational politics differs in federal regimes from the politics of unitary states. Moreover, the case for federalism based on exit critically depends on the argument for federalism based on improvement of ”voice.” Otherwise, migration from one city or state to another to escape predatory regimes would simply be pointless movement out of a ”Leviathan” frying pan into a ”Leviathan” fire. Public choice theorists seem to have an inveterate suspicion of claims that subnational government facilitates political participation, perhaps because the entire tradition of public choice is based on the theoretical impossibility that collective action can accurately represent individuals’ preferences and values. Yet nothing in the conventional account of how decentralization improves political ”voice” is inconsistent with the abstract principles of public choice theory.

Suggested Citation

  • Hills, Roderick, 2009. "Federalism and Public Choice," MPRA Paper 13625, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  • Handle: RePEc:pra:mprapa:13625
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: https://mpra.ub.uni-muenchen.de/13625/1/MPRA_paper_13625.pdf
    File Function: original version
    Download Restriction: no

    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Ben Lockwood, 2002. "Distributive Politics and the Costs of Centralization," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 69(2), pages 313-337.
    2. Caplan, Bryan, 2001. "When is two better than one? How federalism mitigates and intensifies imperfect political competition," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 80(1), pages 99-119, April.
    3. Alesina, Alberto & Baqir, Reza & Easterly, William, 2000. "Redistributive Public Employment," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 48(2), pages 219-241, September.
    4. Tolley, George S., 1974. "The welfare economics of city bigness," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 1(3), pages 324-345, July.
    5. Edward L. Glaeser, 2005. "The Curley Effect: The Economics of Shaping the Electorate," Journal of Law, Economics, and Organization, Oxford University Press, vol. 21(1), pages 1-19, April.
    6. Timothy Besley & Stephen Coate, 2003. "Elected Versus Appointed Regulators: Theory and Evidence," Journal of the European Economic Association, MIT Press, vol. 1(5), pages 1176-1206, September.
    7. Wellisch,Dietmar, 2000. "Theory of Public Finance in a Federal State," Cambridge Books, Cambridge University Press, number 9780521630351.
    8. Gordon, Roger H, 1992. " Can Capital Income Taxes Survive in Open Economies?," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 47(3), pages 1159-1180, July.
    9. Inman, Robert P. & Rubinfeld, Daniel L., 1996. "Designing tax policy in federalist economies: An overview," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 60(3), pages 307-334, June.
    10. Pierre Salmon, 2006. "Horizontal Competition Among Governments," Chapters,in: Handbook of Fiscal Federalism, chapter 2 Edward Elgar Publishing.
    11. Rodden, Jonathan, 2003. "Reviving Leviathan: Fiscal Federalism and the Growth of Government," International Organization, Cambridge University Press, vol. 57(04), pages 695-729, September.
    12. Ben Lockwood, 2006. "The Political Economy of Decentralization," Chapters,in: Handbook of Fiscal Federalism, chapter 1 Edward Elgar Publishing.
    13. Keith Dowding & Peter John & Stephen Biggs, 1994. "Tiebout : A Survey of the Empirical Literature," Urban Studies, Urban Studies Journal Limited, vol. 31(4-5), pages 767-797, May.
    14. Dilip Mookherjee & Pranab K. Bardhan, 2000. "Capture and Governance at Local and National Levels," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 90(2), pages 135-139, May.
    15. Charles M. Tiebout, 1956. "A Pure Theory of Local Expenditures," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 64, pages 416-416.
    16. Besley, Timothy & Coate, Stephen, 2003. "Centralized versus decentralized provision of local public goods: a political economy approach," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 87(12), pages 2611-2637, December.
    17. Sharma, Chanchal Kumar, 2004. "Decentralization Dilemma: Measuring the Degree and Evaluating the Outcomes," MPRA Paper 204, University Library of Munich, Germany, revised Nov 2005.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Public Choice; federalism; political process; predatory regimes; Leviathan; collective action;

    JEL classification:

    • H77 - Public Economics - - State and Local Government; Intergovernmental Relations - - - Intergovernmental Relations; Federalism
    • H7 - Public Economics - - State and Local Government; Intergovernmental Relations
    • A12 - General Economics and Teaching - - General Economics - - - Relation of Economics to Other Disciplines
    • A10 - General Economics and Teaching - - General Economics - - - General

    NEP fields

    This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:

    Statistics

    Access and download statistics

    Corrections

    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:pra:mprapa:13625. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Joachim Winter) or (Rebekah McClure). General contact details of provider: http://edirc.repec.org/data/vfmunde.html .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If CitEc recognized a reference but did not link an item in RePEc to it, you can help with this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.