Policy Innovation In Federal Systems
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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- 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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- 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.
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