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Endogenous spillovers in the trade-off between centralization and decentralization


  • Julio, Paulo
  • Peralta, Susana


In this paper, we revisit the classical trade-o between centralized and decentralized provision of local public goods, in a setting where in- terregional spillovers depend on the level of a national public good. We compare the standard benevolent planner approach with a political econ- omy in which decisions, in a centralized system, are undertaken by a non-cooperative legislature with no separation of powers. We observe that the policy-maker in a centralized system is able to play both with local public goods and spillovers, a mechanism that is not available un- der a decentralized system. When compared to the traditional exogenous spillovers assumption, this improves the case for centralization under the standard benevolent planner approach. However, the same is not neces- sarily true in the non-cooperative legislature, as in this case the interests of the legislator do not need to be aligned with those of the society. Fi- nally, we extend the traditional political economy analysis by considering a legislature in which decisions are undertaken by di erent committees (separation of powers), and show that it performs better than the original non-cooperative legislature, greatly improving the case for centralization. JEL codes: D70, H11, H41, H70

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  • Julio, Paulo & Peralta, Susana, 2008. "Endogenous spillovers in the trade-off between centralization and decentralization," FEUNL Working Paper Series wp538, Universidade Nova de Lisboa, Faculdade de Economia.
  • Handle: RePEc:unl:unlfep:wp538

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Oliver Koppel, 2005. "Reviewing Oates' insights in a repeated game setting," Economics of Governance, Springer, vol. 6(3), pages 229-243, November.
    2. Charles M. Tiebout, 1956. "A Pure Theory of Local Expenditures," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 64, pages 416-416.
    3. Guillaume Cheikbossian, 2000. "Federalism, distributive politics and representative democracy," Economics of Governance, Springer, vol. 1(2), pages 105-122, July.
    4. Panizza, Ugo, 1999. "On the determinants of fiscal centralization: Theory and evidence," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 74(1), pages 97-139, October.
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    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • D70 - Microeconomics - - Analysis of Collective Decision-Making - - - General
    • H11 - Public Economics - - Structure and Scope of Government - - - Structure and Scope of Government
    • H41 - Public Economics - - Publicly Provided Goods - - - Public Goods
    • H70 - Public Economics - - State and Local Government; Intergovernmental Relations - - - General


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