IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/
MyIDEAS: Login to save this paper or follow this series

Decentralization and Electoral Accountability : Incentives, Separation, and Voter Welfare

  • Hendriks, Jean

    (Department of Economics, CORE, Universite Catholique de Louvain,)

  • Lockwood, Ben

    (CEPR and Department of Economics, University of Warwick,)

This paper studies the relationship between fiscal decentralization and electoral accountability, by analyzing how decentralization impacts upon incentive and selection effects, and thus on voter welfare. The model abstracts from features such as public good spillovers or economies of scale, so that absent elections, voters are indifferent about the fiscal regime. The effect of fiscal centralization on voter welfare works through two channels : (i) via its effect on the probability of pooling by the bad incumbent; (ii) conditional on the probability of pooling, the extent to which, with centralization, the incumbent can divert rents in some regions without this being detected by voters in other regions (selective rent diversion). Both these effects depend on the information structure ; whether voters only observe fiscal policy in their own region, in all regions, or an intermediate case with a uniform tax across all regions. More voter information does not necessarily raise voter welfare, and under some conditions, voter would choose uniform over differentiated taxes ex ante to constrain selective rent diversion

If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.

File URL: http://www2.warwick.ac.uk/fac/soc/economics/research/workingpapers/2008/twerp_729.pdf
Download Restriction: no

Paper provided by University of Warwick, Department of Economics in its series The Warwick Economics Research Paper Series (TWERPS) with number 729.

as
in new window

Length: 46 pages
Date of creation: 2005
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:wrk:warwec:729
Contact details of provider: Postal:
CV4 7AL COVENTRY

Phone: +44 (0) 2476 523202
Fax: +44 (0) 2476 523032
Web page: http://www2.warwick.ac.uk/fac/soc/economics/

More information through EDIRC

References listed on IDEAS
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:

as in new window
  1. Persson, T. & Tabellini, G., 1998. "The Size and Scope of Government: Comparative Politics with Rational Politicians," Papers 658, Stockholm - International Economic Studies.
  2. BELLEFLAMME, Paul & HINDRIKS, Jean, 2002. "Yardstick competition and political agency problems," CORE Discussion Papers 2002029, Université catholique de Louvain, Center for Operations Research and Econometrics (CORE).
  3. Gilbert, Guy & Picard, Pierre, 1996. "Incentives and optimal size of local jurisdictions," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 40(1), pages 19-41, January.
  4. Treisman, Daniel, 2000. "The causes of corruption: a cross-national study," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 76(3), pages 399-457, June.
  5. Kenneth Rogoff, 1987. "Equilibrium Political Budget Cycles," NBER Working Papers 2428, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  6. Seabright, Paul, 1996. "Accountability and decentralisation in government: An incomplete contracts model," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 40(1), pages 61-89, January.
  7. Persson, Torsten & Tabellini, Guido & Trebbi, Francesco, 2001. "Electoral Rules and Corruption," CEPR Discussion Papers 2741, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  8. 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.
  9. Jean Hindriks & Ben Lockwood, 2005. "Decentralization and Electoral Accountability: Incentives, Separation, and Voter Welfare," Working Papers 2006-02, University of Kentucky, Institute for Federalism and Intergovernmental Relations.
  10. Faguet, Jean-Paul, 2004. "Does decentralization increase government responsiveness to local needs?: Evidence from Bolivia," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 88(3-4), pages 867-893, March.
  11. Roger B. Myerson, 1998. "Theoretical Comparisons of Electoral Systems," Discussion Papers 1261, Northwestern University, Center for Mathematical Studies in Economics and Management Science.
  12. Cremer, J. & Palfrey, T.R., 1994. "In or Out?: Centralization by Majority Vote," Papers 94.335, Toulouse - GREMAQ.
  13. John Ferejohn, 1986. "Incumbent performance and electoral control," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 50(1), pages 5-25, January.
  14. Fisman, Raymond & Gatti, Roberta, 2002. "Decentralization and corruption: evidence across countries," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 83(3), pages 325-345, March.
  15. Alesina, Alberto F & Angeloni, Ignazio & Etro, Federico, 2003. "International Unions," CEPR Discussion Papers 3913, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  16. Lockwood, Ben, 2005. "A Note on the Hybrid Equilibrium in the Besley-Smart Model," The Warwick Economics Research Paper Series (TWERPS) 727, University of Warwick, Department of Economics.
  17. Torsten Persson & Guido Tabellini, . "Political Economics and Macroeconomic Policy," Working Papers 121, IGIER (Innocenzo Gasparini Institute for Economic Research), Bocconi University.
  18. 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.
  19. Myerson Roger B., 1993. "Effectiveness of Electoral Systems for Reducing Government Corruption: A Game-Theoretic Analysis," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 5(1), pages 118-132, January.
  20. Besley, Timothy J. & Smart, Michael, 2002. "Does Tax Competition Raise Voter Welfare?," CEPR Discussion Papers 3131, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  21. Paul Beaudry & Michel Poitevin, 1995. "Contract Renegotiation: A Simple Framework and Implications for Organization Theory," Canadian Journal of Economics, Canadian Economics Association, vol. 28(2), pages 302-35, May.
  22. Besley, Timothy & Coate, Stephen, 2003. "Centralized versus decentralized provision of local public goods: a political economy approach," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 87(12), pages 2611-2637, December.
  23. J. Vernon Henderson & Ari Kuncoro, 2004. "Corruption in Indonesia," NBER Working Papers 10674, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  24. Bård Harstad, 2007. "Harmonization and Side Payments in Political Cooperation," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 97(3), pages 871-889, June.
  25. Bordignon, Massimo & Cerniglia, Floriana & Revelli, Federico, 2004. "Yardstick competition in intergovernmental relationships: theory and empirical predictions," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 83(3), pages 325-333, June.
  26. Jean-Jacques Laffont & Jean Tirole, 1985. "The Dynamics of Incentive Contracts," Working papers 397, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Department of Economics.
  27. Brian Knight, 2008. "Legislative Representation, Bargaining Power and The Distribution of Federal Funds: Evidence From The Us Congress," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 118(532), pages 1785-1803, October.
  28. Melamad, N. & Mookherjee, D. & Reichelstein, S., 1996. "Contract Complexity, Incentives and the Value of Delegation," Papers 70, Boston University - Industry Studies Programme.
  29. Bahl, Roy & Martinez-Vazquez, Jorge, 2006. "Sequencing fiscal decentralization," Policy Research Working Paper Series 3914, The World Bank.
  30. Ben Lockwood, 2002. "Distributive Politics and the Costs of Centralization," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 69(2), pages 313-337.
  31. repec:rus:hseeco:110836 is not listed on IDEAS
  32. John Joseph Wallis & Wallace E. Oates, 1988. "Decentralization in the Public Sector: An Empirical Study of State and Local Government," NBER Chapters, in: Fiscal Federalism: Quantitative Studies, pages 5-32 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  33. Banks, Jeffrey S. & Sundaram, Rangarajan K., 1998. "Optimal Retention in Agency Problems," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 82(2), pages 293-323, October.
  34. Baron, David P & Besanko, David, 1992. "Information, Control, and Organizational Structure," Journal of Economics & Management Strategy, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 1(2), pages 237-75, Summer.
  35. Myerson, Roger B., 1982. "Optimal coordination mechanisms in generalized principal-agent problems," Journal of Mathematical Economics, Elsevier, vol. 10(1), pages 67-81, June.
  36. Wallace E. Oates, 1999. "An Essay on Fiscal Federalism," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 37(3), pages 1120-1149, September.
  37. Matthias Wrede, 2006. "Uniformity Requirement and Political Accountability," Journal of Economics, Springer, vol. 89(2), pages 95-113, November.
  38. Picard Pierre & Gilbert G, 1991. "Incentives and the optimal size of local territories," CEPREMAP Working Papers (Couverture Orange) 9124, CEPREMAP.
  39. Koleman S. Strumpf & Felix Oberholzer-Gee, 2002. "Endogenous Policy Decentralization: Testing the Central Tenet of Economic Federalism," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 110(1), pages 1-36, February.
  40. Ellingsen, Tore, 1998. "Externalities vs internalities: a model of political integration," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 68(2), pages 251-268, May.
  41. Dilip Mookherjee & Pranab K. Bardhan, 2000. "Capture and Governance at Local and National Levels," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 90(2), pages 135-139, May.
  42. Eric Maskin & Yingyi Qian & Chenggang Xu, 2000. "Incentives, Information, and Organizational Form," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 67(2), pages 359-378.
  43. Massimo Bordignon & Luca Colombo & Umberto Galmarini, 2003. "Fiscal Federalism and Endogenous Lobbies' Formation," CESifo Working Paper Series 1017, CESifo Group Munich.
  44. Bolton, Patrick & Roland, Gérard, 1995. "The Break up of Nations: A Political Economy Analysis," CEPR Discussion Papers 1225, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  45. Christos Kotsogiannis & Robert Schwager, 2005. "Policy Innovation In Federal Systems," Urban/Regional 0504001, EconWPA.
Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

This item is not listed on Wikipedia, on a reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.

When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:wrk:warwec:729. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Helen Neal)

If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.

If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.

If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

This information is provided to you by IDEAS at the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis using RePEc data.