Political Accountability and Fiscal Federalism

Research paper by Santanu Gupta

Indexed on: 01 May '01Published on: 01 May '01Published in: International Tax and Public Finance


In a model with democratic institutions and three jurisdictions, we study the allocation and welfare in a one-level (unitary) and a two-level (federal) government, given that the central government finds it optimal to discriminate in favor of two jurisdictions and against the third. Favored jurisdictions are at least as well off in a unitary structure as compared to a federal one, while this may not be so for the jurisdiction discriminated against. We finally show that jurisdiction-specific electoral uncertainty is consistent with both equitable as well as discriminating allocations.