Abstract

http://ssrn.com/abstract=1120947
 
 

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Self-Defeating Subsidiarity: An Economic Analysis


Emanuela Carbonara


University of Bologna - Department of Economics

Barbara Luppi


Università degli studi di Modena e Reggio Emilia (UNIMORE) - Faculty of Business and Economics; University of St. Thomas School of Law

Francesco Parisi


University of Minnesota - Law School; University of Bologna

2008

Minnesota Legal Studies Research Paper No. 08-15

Abstract:     
In this paper we analyze the factors that should be considered when allocating a given policy function at a particular level of government and how these factors affect the growth and evolution of multi-level governments. After discussing the interplay of economies of scale, economies of scope, and heterogeneity of preferences in determining the optimal level of legal intervention, we show that the subsidiarity principle can have mixed effects as a firewall against progressive centralization. Our economic model of subsidiarity reveals that once some functions become centralized, further centralization becomes easier and often unavoidable. Contrary to its intended function, a piecemeal application of the subsidiarity principle can trigger a path-dependent avalanche of centralization, turning subsidiarity into a self-defeating statement of principle.

Number of Pages in PDF File: 37

Keywords: Subsidiarity, Rule Competition, Centralization, Economies of Scope

JEL Classification: D70, H73, K33, P16

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Date posted: April 17, 2008 ; Last revised: November 17, 2008

Suggested Citation

Carbonara, Emanuela and Luppi, Barbara and Parisi, Francesco, Self-Defeating Subsidiarity: An Economic Analysis (2008). Minnesota Legal Studies Research Paper No. 08-15. Available at SSRN: http://ssrn.com/abstract=1120947 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.1120947

Contact Information

Emanuela Carbonara
University of Bologna - Department of Economics ( email )
Piazza Scaravilli 2
Bologna, 40126
Italy
+39 051 2098149 (Phone)
+39 051 2098040 (Fax)
Barbara Luppi
Università degli studi di Modena e Reggio Emilia (UNIMORE) - Faculty of Business and Economics ( email )
Viale Berengario 51
41100 Modena, Modena 41100
Italy
University of St. Thomas School of Law
MN
United States
Francesco Parisi (Contact Author)
University of Minnesota - Law School ( email )
229 19th Avenue South
Minneapolis, MN 55455
United States
University of Bologna ( email )
Piazza Scaravilli 1
40126 Bologna, fc 47100
Italy
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