IDEAS home Printed from
MyIDEAS: Log in (now much improved!) to save this paper

Intragovernment Procurement of Local Public Good: A Theory of Decentralization in Nondemocratic Government

Listed author(s):
  • Chong-en Bai
  • Yu Pan
  • Yijiang Wang

Local governments (LGs) are seen as producers of the local public good ('the good'). An authoritarian country is one in which the government decides if the good should be produced and how much to tax to finance it, as versus a democracy in which voters decide. This paper identifies conditions under which it is more efficient for a non-democratic government to delegate to the LGs the authority to 1) decide whether or not to produce the good and2) Collect tax to finance it if the good is produced. Two conditions are identified First, when the net benefit of producing the good is sufficiently small so that, compared with the benefit, inducing LGs effort under the centralized system is too costly (a moral hazard problem). Second, when the net benefit of the is higher in a locale with a higher production cost parameters, making it difficult for the center to induce the LGs to truthfully reveal the cost parameter (an adverse selection problem). These results are consistent with the experience of China in the past several decades, where "too small to be worth bothering" and "too diversified and complicated local conditions for the center to know" have been the two most prominent official arguments made by the communist government itself for decentralization

If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.

File URL:
Download Restriction: no

Paper provided by William Davidson Institute at the University of Michigan in its series William Davidson Institute Working Papers Series with number 173.

in new window

Length: pages
Date of creation: 01 Jun 1998
Handle: RePEc:wdi:papers:1998-173
Contact details of provider: Postal:
724 E. University Ave, Wyly Hall 1st Flr, Ann Arbor MI 48109

Phone: 734 763-5020
Fax: 734 763-5850
Web page:

More information through EDIRC

No references listed on IDEAS
You can help add them by filling out this form.

This item is not listed on Wikipedia, on a reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.

When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:wdi:papers:1998-173. 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: (WDI)

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 references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.

If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link 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 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.

This information is provided to you by IDEAS at the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis using RePEc data.