Constraining Federalism: Formalizing Expectations About Redistributive Policies in Decentralized Systems

Posted: 18 Aug 2009

See all articles by Michael Bailey

Michael Bailey

Georgetown University - Department of Government

Abstract

Whether states keep welfare benefits low in order to prevent in-migration of benefit-seeking individuals is one of the great questions in the study of federalism. Assessing this question is challenging, however, because it is difficult to specify exactly what constitutes evidence that states inhibit their spending for this reason. This article develops a model which provides a micro-founded framework for thinking about the issue. The model suggests that competition on redistributive programs does not induce “racing” among states, but does constrain spending to be less than what the states would spend if migration were not a concern. The model also provides specific guidance for the form of this downward pressure.

Suggested Citation

Bailey, Michael, Constraining Federalism: Formalizing Expectations About Redistributive Policies in Decentralized Systems. Publius: The Journal of Federalism, Vol. 37, Issue 2, pp. 135-159, 2007. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1455579 or http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/publius/pjl020

Michael Bailey (Contact Author)

Georgetown University - Department of Government ( email )

ICC, Suite 681
Washington, DC 20057-1034
United States
202-687-6021 (Phone)
202-687-5858 (Fax)

Register to save articles to
your library

Register

Paper statistics

Abstract Views
211
PlumX Metrics