Federalism and Polycentric Government in a Pandemic
5 Pages Posted: 7 Apr 2020
Date Written: April 3, 2020
Networks of overlapping local governments are the front line of governmental responses to pandemics. Local governments, both general purpose (municipalities, counties, etc.) and special districts (school, fire, police, hospital, etc.), implement state and federal directives while acting as a producer and as a third-party payer in the healthcare system. They possess local information necessary in determining the best use of finite resources and available assets. Furthermore, a liberal society requires voluntary cooperation of citizens skeptical of opportunistic authoritarianism. Therefore, successful local governance instills a reassuring division of political power.
The COVID-19 pandemic has created two significant challenges for local governments in their efforts to respond effectively to the crisis: public finance and intergovernmental collaboration. This brief recommends practical solutions to meet these challenges.
Keywords: federalism, polycentricity, Ostrom, local government, healthcare, coronavirus, coronavirus pandemic, COVID-19, public health, economics, quarantine, economy, economic crisis, governance
JEL Classification: H75, I00, I18, H77, H70
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation