Small States, Large Unitary States and Federations
University of Erlangen-Nuremberg - Institute of Economics; CESifo (Center for Economic Studies and Ifo Institute for Economic Research)
CESifo Working Paper Series No. 729
Employing a political-economics approach, this paper compares small states and unions when the former fail to internalize cross-border externalities of publicly provided goods. It discusses two types of unions: federations with more than one level of government and unitary states. While unitary states are unable to differentiate public spending according to differing preferences, rents of governments in a federation are higher due to a common-pool problem. The comparison leads to the following results. (1) Citizens prefer small states to large states if spillover effects are weak. (2) They benefit from a multi-level government only if their preferences heavily differ from the median-voter's preferences and if spillovers are strong. Based on this comparison the paper also discusses the creation of unions. Making specific assumption on the distribution of preferences, it analyzes strong Nash equilibria and coalition-proof equilibria at the union formation stage.
Number of Pages in PDF File: 32
Keywords: Voting Theory, Electoral Accountability, Federations, Strong Nash Equilibria, Coalition-proof Equilibri
JEL Classification: D7, H1, H7working papers series
Date posted: August 21, 2002
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