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Federalism as a Commitment to Preserving Market Incentives

  • Yingyi Qian
  • Barry R. Weingast

Fall, 1997 Journal of Economic Perspectives, Volume 11, Number 4, pp.83-92, Fall 1997 We advance a new perspective in the study of federalism. Our approach views federalism as a governance solution of the state to credibly preserving market incentives. Market incentives are preserved if the state is credibly prevented from compromising on future economic success and from bailing out future failures. The salient features of federalism — decentralization of information and authority and inter-jurisdiction competition — help provide credible commitment for these purposes. In addition, we discuss factors relevant for sustaining federalism.

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Paper provided by Stanford University, Department of Economics in its series Working Papers with number 97042.

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Date of creation: 1997
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Handle: RePEc:wop:stanec:97042
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  1. Mathias Dewatripont & Eric Maskin, 2004. "Credit and efficiency in centralized and decentralized economies," ULB Institutional Repository 2013/9605, ULB -- Universite Libre de Bruxelles.
  2. Qian, Yingyi & Roland, Gerard, 1998. "Federalism and the Soft Budget Constraint," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 88(5), pages 1143-62, December.
  3. Yingyi Qian & Barry R. Weingast, 1996. "China's transition to markets: market-preserving federalism, chinese style," Journal of Economic Policy Reform, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 1(2), pages 149-185.
  4. Timothy Frye & Andrei Shleifer, 1996. "The Invisible Hand and the Grabbing Hand," NBER Working Papers 5856, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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  11. Charles M. Tiebout, 1956. "A Pure Theory of Local Expenditures," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 64, pages 416.
  12. Holmstrom, Bengt R. & Tirole, Jean, 1989. "The theory of the firm," Handbook of Industrial Organization, in: R. Schmalensee & R. Willig (ed.), Handbook of Industrial Organization, edition 1, volume 1, chapter 2, pages 61-133 Elsevier.
  13. Andrei Shleifer, 1996. "Government in Transition," Harvard Institute of Economic Research Working Papers 1783, Harvard - Institute of Economic Research.
  14. Jiahua Che & Yingyi Qian, . "Institutional Environment, Community Government, and Corporate Governance: Understanding China's Township-Village Enterprises," Working Papers 97043, Stanford University, Department of Economics.
  15. Epple, Dennis & Zelenitz, Allan, 1981. "The Implications of Competition among Jurisdictions: Does Tiebout Need Politics?," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 89(6), pages 1197-1217, December.
  16. Laffont, Jean-Jacques & Tirole, Jean, 1988. "The Dynamics of Incentive Contracts," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 56(5), pages 1153-75, September.
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  19. Romano, Roberta, 1985. "Law as a Product: Some Pieces of the Incorporation Puzzle," Journal of Law, Economics and Organization, Oxford University Press, vol. 1(2), pages 225-83, Fall.
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