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Federalism and Accountability with Distorted Election Choices

This study analyzes the interaction between distorted election choices and the architecture of government with a focus on the implications for the accountability of politicians. Contrasting centralized with decentralized political systems, it is shown that centralization is likely to result in higher accountability if election choices are subject to small random distortions. Furthermore, equity and efficiency arguments for uniform policies in centralized systems are derived as these are likely to result in the better overall performance of politicians and in more equal performance across regions.

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Paper provided by Universität Siegen, Fakultät Wirtschaftswissenschaften, Wirtschaftsinformatik und Wirtschaftsrecht in its series Volkswirtschaftliche Diskussionsbeiträge with number 130-09.

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Length: 28 pages
Date of creation: 2009
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:sie:siegen:130-09
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  1. Fan, C. Simon & Lin, Chen & Treisman, Daniel, 2009. "Political decentralization and corruption: Evidence from around the world," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 93(1-2), pages 14-34, February.
  2. Charles M. Tiebout, 1956. "A Pure Theory of Local Expenditures," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 64, pages 416.
  3. Hendriks, Jean & Lockwood, Ben, 2005. "Decentralization and Electoral Accountability : Incentives, Separation, and Voter Welfare," The Warwick Economics Research Paper Series (TWERPS) 729, University of Warwick, Department of Economics.
  4. Green, Edward J. & Porter, Robert H., 1982. "Noncooperative Collusion Under Imperfect Price Information," Working Papers 367, California Institute of Technology, Division of the Humanities and Social Sciences.
  5. Seabright, Paul, 1996. "Accountability and decentralisation in government: An incomplete contracts model," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 40(1), pages 61-89, January.
  6. Fisman, Raymond & Gatti, Roberta, 2002. "Decentralization and corruption: evidence across countries," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 83(3), pages 325-345, March.
  7. Drew Fudenberg & Jean Tirole, 1991. "Game Theory," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 0262061414, June.
  8. Wolfers, Justin, 2002. "Are Voters Rational? Evidence from Gubernatorial Elections," Research Papers 1730, Stanford University, Graduate School of Business.
  9. Cheikbossian, Guillaume, 2008. "Rent-seeking, spillovers and the benefits of decentralization," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 63(1), pages 217-228, January.
  10. Cole, Shawn & Healy, Andrew & Werker, Eric, 2012. "Do voters demand responsive governments? Evidence from Indian disaster relief," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 97(2), pages 167-181.
  11. Matthias Wrede, 2006. "Uniformity Requirement and Political Accountability," Journal of Economics, Springer, vol. 89(2), pages 95-113, November.
  12. Besley, Timothy & Case, Anne, 1995. "Incumbent Behavior: Vote-Seeking, Tax-Setting, and Yardstick Competition," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 85(1), pages 25-45, March.
  13. Warneryd, Karl, 1998. "Distributional conflict and jurisdictional organization," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 69(3), pages 435-450, September.
  14. Davoodi, Hamid & Zou, Heng-fu, 1998. "Fiscal Decentralization and Economic Growth: A Cross-Country Study," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 43(2), pages 244-257, March.
  15. Thornton, John, 2007. "Fiscal decentralization and economic growth reconsidered," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 61(1), pages 64-70, January.
  16. 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.
  17. Revelli, Federico & Tovmo, Per, 2007. "Revealed yardstick competition: Local government efficiency patterns in Norway," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 62(1), pages 121-134, July.
  18. John Ferejohn, 1986. "Incumbent performance and electoral control," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 50(1), pages 5-25, January.
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