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Local Power to Tax and Devolution: An Empirical Assessment of the French Constitutional Reform


  • Alain Guenguant

    (CREM - CNRS)

  • Jean-Michel Josselin

    (CREM - CNRS)


The article explores the content and consequences of the French constitutional reform of March 2003. Among the objectives of that reform, one is to preserve the tax autonomy for the local public sector; another is to ensure that the coming wave of devolution of competencies to decentralised levels of government will be adequately financed. These constitutional safeguards are assessed and they prove to be somewhat counterproductive, as if the recourse to the higher level of juridical norms could not replace the legislative level when reforms of local public finance, however difficult, have to be conducted.

Suggested Citation

  • Alain Guenguant & Jean-Michel Josselin, 2006. "Local Power to Tax and Devolution: An Empirical Assessment of the French Constitutional Reform," Economics Working Paper Archive (University of Rennes 1 & University of Caen) 200612, Center for Research in Economics and Management (CREM), University of Rennes 1, University of Caen and CNRS.
  • Handle: RePEc:tut:cremwp:200612

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Gianluigi Galeotti & Pierre Salmon & Ronald Wintrobe, 2000. "Competition and Structure: The Political Economy of Collective Decisions," Post-Print hal-00445583, HAL.
    2. Rose-Ackerman, Susan, 1981. "Does Federalism Matter? Political Choice in a Federal Republic," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 89(1), pages 152-165, February.
    3. Howitt, Peter & Wintrobe, Ronald, 1995. "The political economy of inaction," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 56(3), pages 329-353, March.
    4. Jean-Michel Josselin & Alain Marciano, 2004. "Federalism and subsidiarity in national and international contexts," Post-Print halshs-00076694, HAL.
    5. James Buchanan, 1990. "The domain of constitutional economics," Constitutional Political Economy, Springer, vol. 1(1), pages 1-18, December.
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    More about this item


    Central government; Constitutional reform; France; Local public sector; Local taxation; National grants.;

    JEL classification:

    • D70 - Microeconomics - - Analysis of Collective Decision-Making - - - General
    • H70 - Public Economics - - State and Local Government; Intergovernmental Relations - - - General

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