Federalism and Accountability with Distorted Election Choices

36 Pages Posted: 28 Sep 2009  

Sebastian G. Kessing

Wissenschaftszentrum Berlin fuer Sozialforschung (WZB) - Market Processes and Governance; CESifo (Center for Economic Studies and Ifo Institute for Economic Research)

Date Written: September 2009

Abstract

Random factors such as bad weather or exogenous economic shocks affect the re-election of politicians and can reduce accountability. Such distorted election choices interact with the architecture of government. Contrasting centralized with decentralized political systems, this study shows that centralization is likely to result in higher accountability if election choices are subject to small random distortions. Furthermore, equity and efficiency arguments for uniform policies in centralized systems are derived as these are likely to result in the better overall performance of politicians and in more equal performance across regions.

Keywords: accountability, federalism, decentralization, retrospective voting, Condorcet Jury Theorem

JEL Classification: H73, D72

Suggested Citation

Kessing, Sebastian G., Federalism and Accountability with Distorted Election Choices (September 2009). CESifo Working Paper Series No. 2789. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1479483

Sebastian G. Kessing (Contact Author)

Wissenschaftszentrum Berlin fuer Sozialforschung (WZB) - Market Processes and Governance ( email )

Reichpietschufer 50
D-10785 Berlin
Germany

CESifo (Center for Economic Studies and Ifo Institute for Economic Research)

Poschinger Str. 5
Munich, DE-81679
Germany

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