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The Tragedy of the Commons or the Curse of Federalism

Author

Listed:
  • Laurent Bouton

    (ECARES, Université Libre de Bruxelles)

  • Marjorie Gassner

    (ECARES, Université Libre de Bruxelles)

  • Vincenzo Verardi

    (ECARES, Université Libre de Bruxelles)

Abstract

It has been suggested that …scal federalism is a good way to induce decentralized entities to behave parsimoniously, but this has been largely criticized in the literature, in particular because of the Common-Pool problem. In this paper, we present an extra facet of the latter problem. We present a simple theoretical model con…rmed by empirical evidence suggesting that vertical imbalance induces govenments to substitute redistributive spending for non-distributive expenditures. This drives …scal policies to be less efficient in reducing income inequality.

Suggested Citation

  • Laurent Bouton & Marjorie Gassner & Vincenzo Verardi, 2005. "The Tragedy of the Commons or the Curse of Federalism," Public Economics 0511013, EconWPA.
  • Handle: RePEc:wpa:wuwppe:0511013
    Note: Type of Document - pdf; pages: 29
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    3. Ernesto Stein, 1999. "Fiscal Decentralization and Government Size in Latin America," Journal of Applied Economics, Universidad del CEMA, vol. 2, pages 357-391, November.
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    5. Persson, Torsten & Tabellini, Guido, 1999. "Political economics and macroeconomic policy," Handbook of Macroeconomics,in: J. B. Taylor & M. Woodford (ed.), Handbook of Macroeconomics, edition 1, volume 1, chapter 22, pages 1397-1482 Elsevier.
    6. Persson, Torsten & Tabellini, Guido, 1999. "The size and scope of government:: Comparative politics with rational politicians," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 43(4-6), pages 699-735, April.
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    9. Rodden, Jonathan, 2003. "Reviving Leviathan: Fiscal Federalism and the Growth of Government," International Organization, Cambridge University Press, vol. 57(04), pages 695-729, September.
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    12. Wildasin, David E., 1997. "Externalities and bailouts : hard and soft budget constraints in intergovernmental fiscal relations," Policy Research Working Paper Series 1843, The World Bank.
    13. Li, Hongyi & Squire, Lyn & Zou, Heng-fu, 1998. "Explaining International and Intertemporal Variations in Income Inequality," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 108(446), pages 26-43, January.
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    17. Piketty, Thomas, 2000. "Theories of persistent inequality and intergenerational mobility," Handbook of Income Distribution,in: A.B. Atkinson & F. Bourguignon (ed.), Handbook of Income Distribution, edition 1, volume 1, chapter 8, pages 429-476 Elsevier.
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    Cited by:

    1. Division of Policy and Practice,UNICEF, 2010. "Advancing the Rights of Children, Women and Poor Families through Better Public Finance Policies," Working papers 1001, UNICEF,Division of Policy and Strategy.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Federalism; Income Inequality; Common Pool; Redistribution;

    JEL classification:

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

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