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The Institutions of Federalism: Toward an Analytical Framework

  • David E. Wildasin

    (University of Kentucky)

Mature federations have relatively transparent delineations of authority among levels of government; subnational governments enjoy considerable autonomy in their expenditure, revenue, and debt policies. In other countries, problems of soft budget constraints, bailouts, and fiscal and financial instability demonstrate the difficulties of institutional design in a federation. This paper outlines an analytical framework within which interjurisdictional spillovers may create incentives for higher-level governments to intervene in the control and financing of lower-level governments (bailouts). This framework helps to identify directions for theoretical and empirical research that can illuminate important features of observed institutions and guide policy analysis.

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File URL: http://128.118.178.162/eps/pe/papers/0403/0403006.pdf
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Paper provided by EconWPA in its series Public Economics with number 0403006.

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Length: 28 pages
Date of creation: 29 Mar 2004
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:wpa:wuwppe:0403006
Note: Type of Document - pdf; pages: 28
Contact details of provider: Web page: http://128.118.178.162

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  1. Dennis Epple & Katherine Schipper, 1981. "Municipal pension funding: A theory and some evidence," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 37(1), pages 141-178, January.
  2. David E. Wildasin, 2001. "Externalities and Bailouts: Hard and Soft Budget Constraints in Intergovernmental Fiscal Relations," Public Economics 0112002, EconWPA.
  3. Jonathan Eaton & Mark Gersovitz & Joseph E. Stiglitz, 1991. "The Pure Theory of Country Risk," NBER Chapters, in: International Volatility and Economic Growth: The First Ten Years of The International Seminar on Macroeconomics, pages 391-435 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  4. David E. Wildasin, 2000. "Fiscal Competition in Space and Time," CESifo Working Paper Series 370, CESifo Group Munich.
  5. Massimo Bordignon & Paolo Manasse & Guido Tabellini, . "Optimal Regional Redistribution Under Asymmetric Information," Working Papers 93, IGIER (Innocenzo Gasparini Institute for Economic Research), Bocconi University.
  6. James M. Poterba, 1993. "State Responses to Fiscal Crisis: The Effects of Budgetary Institutionsand Politics," NBER Working Papers 4375, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  7. von Hagen, Jurgen, 1991. "A note on the empirical effectiveness of formal fiscal restraints," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 44(2), pages 199-210, March.
  8. Franco, D. & Gokhale, J. & Guiso, L. & Kotlikoff, L.J. & Sartor, N., 1991. "Generational Accounting - The Case of Italy," Papers 18, Boston University - Department of Economics.
  9. Maurice Obstfeld & Kenneth S. Rogoff, 1996. "Foundations of International Macroeconomics," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 0262150476, June.
  10. Robert Inman, 1981. ""Municipal pension funding: A theory and some evidence" by Dennis Epple and Katherine Schipper," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 37(1), pages 179-187, January.
  11. Ades, Alberto F & Glaeser, Edward L, 1995. "Trade and Circuses: Explaining Urban Giants," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 110(1), pages 195-227, February.
  12. 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.
  13. Meltzer, Allan H & Richard, Scott F, 1981. "A Rational Theory of the Size of Government," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 89(5), pages 914-27, October.
  14. Neil Bruce, 1995. "A Fiscal Federalism Analysis of Debt Policies by Sovereign Regional Governments," Canadian Journal of Economics, Canadian Economics Association, vol. 28(s1), pages 195-206, November.
  15. Teresa Garcia-MilĂ  & Timothy J. Goodspeed & Therese J. McGuire, 2001. "Fiscal decentralization policies and sub-national government debt in evolving federations," Economics Working Papers 549, Department of Economics and Business, Universitat Pompeu Fabra, revised May 2002.
  16. Jean Tirole, 1999. "Incomplete Contracts: Where Do We Stand?," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 67(4), pages 741-782, July.
  17. Weingast, Barry R, 1995. "The Economic Role of Political Institutions: Market-Preserving Federalism and Economic Development," Journal of Law, Economics and Organization, Oxford University Press, vol. 11(1), pages 1-31, April.
  18. Thiess Buettner & David E. Wildasin, 2002. "The Dynamics of Municipal Fiscal Adjustment," CESifo Working Paper Series 649, CESifo Group Munich.
  19. Barro, Robert J., 1979. "On the Determination of the Public Debt," Scholarly Articles 3451400, Harvard University Department of Economics.
  20. Seitz, Helmut, 1999. "Subnational government bailouts in Germany," ZEI Working Papers B 20-1999, ZEI - Center for European Integration Studies, University of Bonn.
  21. S. Bucovetsky, 1997. "Insurance and Incentive Effects of Transfers among Regions: Equity and Efficiency," International Tax and Public Finance, Springer, vol. 4(4), pages 463-483, November.
  22. Pettersson-Lidbom, Per & Dahlberg, Matz, 2003. "An Empirical Approach for Evaluating Soft Budget Constraints," Working Paper Series 2003:28, Uppsala University, Department of Economics.
  23. Bahl, Roy W. & Wallich, Christine, 1992. "Intergovernmental fiscal relations in China," Policy Research Working Paper Series 863, The World Bank.
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