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Yardstick Competition and Policy Innovation

  • Johannes Rincke

    (Zentrum für Europäische Wirtschaftsforschung)

A simple model of yardstick competition between jurisdictions is presented. Governments of jurisdictions face the alternative to choose between an old and a new policy with stochastic payoffs. The new policy is superior to the old policy in one state of the world, and inferior in the other. Governments are either benevolent, serving the interest of the voter, or rent-seeking. An equilibrium with yardstick competition is shown to exist where bad governments having a good government in their neighborhood choose the new policy more often compared to an equilibrium without relative performance evaluation. Overall, the probability of policy innovations is increased by yardstick competition. The model has a testable empirical implication saying that policy innovations should show spatial correlation.

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File URL: http://econwpa.repec.org/eps/pe/papers/0511/0511010.pdf
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Paper provided by EconWPA in its series Public Economics with number 0511010.

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Date of creation: 16 Nov 2005
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Handle: RePEc:wpa:wuwppe:0511010
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  1. Paul Belleflamme & Jean Hindriks, 2001. "Yardstick Competition and Political Agency Problems," Working Papers 441, Queen Mary University of London, School of Economics and Finance.
  2. Christos Kotsogiannis & Robert Schwager, 2006. "Political Uncertainty and Policy Innovation," Journal of Public Economic Theory, Association for Public Economic Theory, vol. 8(5), pages 779-805, December.
  3. Bordignon, Massimo & Cerniglia, Floriana & Revelli, Federico, 2003. "In search of yardstick competition: a spatial analysis of Italian municipality property tax setting," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 54(2), pages 199-217, September.
  4. Timothy Besley & Anne Case, 1992. "Incumbent Behavior: Vote Seeking, Tax Setting and Yardstick Competition," NBER Working Papers 4041, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  5. Besley, Timothy J. & Smart, Michael, 2002. "Does Tax Competition Raise Voter Welfare?," CEPR Discussion Papers 3131, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  6. Coate, Stephen & Morris, Stephen, 1995. "On the Form of Transfers in Special Interests," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 103(6), pages 1210-35, December.
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