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Fiscal Decentralization: A Political Economy Perspective

Author

Listed:
  • Lockwood, Ben

    (University of Warwick and CEPR)

Abstract

This paper surveys recent contributions to the study of fiscal decentralization which adopt a political economy approach. It is argued that this approach can capture, in a variety of formal models, the plausible and influential ideas (increasingly, supported by empirical evidence) that fiscal decentralization can lead to improved preference-matching and accountability of government. In particular, recent work on centralized provision of public good provision via bargaining in a legislature shows how centralization reduces preference-matching, and recent work using "electoral agency" models formalizes the accountability argument. These models also provide insights into when decentralization may fail to deliver these benefits.

Suggested Citation

  • Lockwood, Ben, 2005. "Fiscal Decentralization: A Political Economy Perspective," The Warwick Economics Research Paper Series (TWERPS) 721, University of Warwick, Department of Economics.
  • Handle: RePEc:wrk:warwec:721
    as

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    File URL: https://www2.warwick.ac.uk/fac/soc/economics/research/workingpapers/2008/twerp721.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Edwards, Jeremy & Keen, Michael, 1996. "Tax competition and Leviathan," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 40(1), pages 113-134, January.
    2. Besley, Timothy & Smart, Michael, 2007. "Fiscal restraints and voter welfare," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 91(3-4), pages 755-773, April.
    3. Alberto Alesina & Enrico Spolaore, 1997. "On the Number and Size of Nations," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 112(4), pages 1027-1056.
    4. Alberto Alesina & Ignazio Angeloni & Federico Etro, 2005. "International Unions," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 95(3), pages 602-615, June.
    5. 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.
    6. Cremer, Jacques & Palfrey, Thomas R., 1996. "In or out?: Centralization by majority vote," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 40(1), pages 43-60, January.
    7. Fisman, Raymond & Gatti, Roberta, 2002. "Decentralization and corruption: evidence across countries," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 83(3), pages 325-345, March.
    8. Buchanan, James M, 1987. "The Constitution of Economic Policy," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 77(3), pages 243-250, June.
    9. Alesina, Alberto F & Angeloni, Ignazio & Etro, Federico, 2001. "The Political Economy of International Unions," CEPR Discussion Papers 3117, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    10. Brian Knight, 2004. "Legislative Representation, Bargaining Power, and the Distribution of Federal Funds: Evidence from the U.S. Senate," NBER Working Papers 10385, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    11. J. Vernon Henderson & Ari Kuncoro, 2004. "Corruption in Indonesia," NBER Working Papers 10674, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    12. Ben Lockwood, 2004. "Decentralization via Federal and Unitary Referenda," Journal of Public Economic Theory, Association for Public Economic Theory, vol. 6(1), pages 79-108, February.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Michela Redoano, 2010. "Does Centralization Affect the Number and Size of Lobbies?," Journal of Public Economic Theory, Association for Public Economic Theory, vol. 12(3), pages 407-435, June.
    2. Paula Salinas Pena & Albert Sole-Olle, 2009. "Evaluating the effects of decentralization on educational outcomes in Spain," Working Papers in Economics 228, Universitat de Barcelona. Espai de Recerca en Economia.
    3. Federico Etro, 2006. "Political geography," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 127(3), pages 321-343, June.
    4. Barankay, Iwan & Lockwood, Ben, 2007. "Decentralization and the productive efficiency of government: Evidence from Swiss cantons," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 91(5-6), pages 1197-1218, June.
    5. Bård Harstad, 2007. "Harmonization and Side Payments in Political Cooperation," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 97(3), pages 871-889, June.
    6. Feder, Christophe & Kataishi, Rodrigo Ezequiel, 2017. "Decentralization in Heterogeneous Regions: A Biased Technological Change Approach," Department of Economics and Statistics Cognetti de Martiis. Working Papers 201703, University of Turin.
    7. Marco Alderighi & Christophe Feder, 2014. "Political competition, power allocation and welfare in unitary and federal systems," Working Paper series 23_14, Rimini Centre for Economic Analysis.
    8. Yang, Zhou, 2016. "Tax reform, fiscal decentralization, and regional economic growth: New evidence from China," Economic Modelling, Elsevier, vol. 59(C), pages 520-528.
    9. repec:eee:ecotra:v:13:y:2018:i:c:p:36-47 is not listed on IDEAS
    10. repec:bla:jecsur:v:31:y:2017:i:4:p:1095-1129 is not listed on IDEAS
    11. Jorge Martinez-Vazquez & Santiago Lago-Peñas & Agnese Sacchi, 2017. "The Impact Of Fiscal Decentralization: A Survey," Journal of Economic Surveys, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 31(4), pages 1095-1129, September.
    12. Ricardo Alonso & Wouter Dessein & Niko Matouschek, 2008. "When Does Coordination Require Centralization?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 98(1), pages 145-179, March.
    13. George Gelauff & Sjef Ederveen & J.L.M. Pelkmans, 2006. "Assessing subsidiarity," CPB Document 133, CPB Netherlands Bureau for Economic Policy Analysis.
    14. Bhattacharyya, Sambit & Conradie, Louis & Arezki, Rabah, 2017. "Resource discovery and the politics of fiscal decentralization," Journal of Comparative Economics, Elsevier, vol. 45(2), pages 366-382.
    15. repec:eee:injoed:v:53:y:2017:i:c:p:12-27 is not listed on IDEAS
    16. repec:eee:rujoec:v:1:y:2015:i:4:p:404-418 is not listed on IDEAS

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Fiscal decentralization ; political economy ; local public goods;

    JEL classification:

    • H41 - Public Economics - - Publicly Provided Goods - - - Public Goods
    • H70 - Public Economics - - State and Local Government; Intergovernmental Relations - - - General
    • H72 - Public Economics - - State and Local Government; Intergovernmental Relations - - - State and Local Budget and Expenditures

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