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Policy Innovation In Federal Systems

  • Christos Kotsogiannis

    (University of Exeter)

  • Robert Schwager

    (Georg-August-Universitat Gottingen)

Conventional wisdom has it that policy innovation is better promoted in a federal rather than in a unitary system. Recent research, however, has provided theoretical evidence to the contrary: a multi-jurisdictional system is characterized---due to the existence of a horizontal information externality---by under-provision of policy innovation. This paper presents a simple model that introduces political competition for federal office. Under such competition political actors use the innovative policies in order to signal ability to the electorate. In the equilibrium analyzed policy innovation occurs more frequently than in a unitary system. It is thus shown that, once electoral motives are accounted for, the conventional wisdom is validated.

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File URL: http://128.118.178.162/eps/urb/papers/0504/0504001.pdf
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Paper provided by EconWPA in its series Urban/Regional with number 0504001.

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Length: 13 pages
Date of creation: 04 Apr 2005
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:wpa:wuwpur:0504001
Note: Type of Document - pdf; pages: 13
Contact details of provider: Web page: http://128.118.178.162

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  1. Strumpf, Koleman S, 2002. " Does Government Decentralization Increase Policy Innovation?," Journal of Public Economic Theory, Association for Public Economic Theory, vol. 4(2), pages 207-41.
  2. Kollman, Ken & Miller, John H & Page, Scott E, 2000. "Decentralization and the Search for Policy Solutions," Journal of Law, Economics and Organization, Oxford University Press, vol. 16(1), pages 102-28, April.
  3. Michael J. Keen & Christos Kotsogiannis, 2002. "Does Federalism Lead to Excessively High Taxes?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 92(1), pages 363-370, March.
  4. Robert P. Inman & Daniel L. Rubinfeld, 1997. "Rethinking Federalism," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 11(4), pages 43-64, Fall.
  5. Wallace E. Oates, 1999. "An Essay on Fiscal Federalism," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 37(3), pages 1120-1149, September.
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