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Yardstick Competition and Policy Innovation

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  • Johannes Rincke

    (Zentrum für Europäische Wirtschaftsforschung)

Abstract

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.

Suggested Citation

  • Johannes Rincke, 2005. "Yardstick Competition and Policy Innovation," Public Economics 0511010, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  • Handle: RePEc:wpa:wuwppe:0511010
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Besley, Timothy & Case, Anne, 1995. "Incumbent Behavior: Vote-Seeking, Tax-Setting, and Yardstick Competition," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 85(1), pages 25-45, March.
    2. Paul Belleflamme & Jean Hindriks, 2005. "Yardstick competition and political agency problems," Social Choice and Welfare, Springer;The Society for Social Choice and Welfare, vol. 24(1), pages 155-169, September.
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    5. Besley, Timothy J. & Smart, Michael, 2002. "Does Tax Competition Raise Voter Welfare?," CEPR Discussion Papers 3131, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
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    7. Walker, Jack L., 1969. "The Diffusion of Innovations among the American States," American Political Science Review, Cambridge University Press, vol. 63(3), pages 880-899, September.
    8. 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.
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    Cited by:

    1. Wohlgemuth, Michael, 2007. "Learning through institutional competition," Freiburg Discussion Papers on Constitutional Economics 07/9, Walter Eucken Institut e.V..
    2. Johannes Rincke, 2006. "Policy innovation in local jurisdictions: Testing for neighborhood influence in school choice policies," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 129(1), pages 189-200, October.
    3. Wohlgemuth, Michael, 2011. "The boundaries of the state," Freiburg Discussion Papers on Constitutional Economics 11/3, Walter Eucken Institut e.V..

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    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • D6 - Microeconomics - - Welfare Economics
    • D7 - Microeconomics - - Analysis of Collective Decision-Making
    • H - Public Economics

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