EconPapers    
Economics at your fingertips  
 

Centralization and political accountability

Jean Hindriks () and Ben Lockwood ()

No 2004052, CORE Discussion Papers from Université catholique de Louvain, Center for Operations Research and Econometrics (CORE)

Abstract: In this paper we abstract from the usual gains and costs of decentralization (e.g. preference matching, spillovers and economies of scale). Instead we compare the political accountability of decentralized governments relative to centralized ones when there is a risk of "bad" governance. We study both the selection and incentive effects of accountability. A key aspect of centralization is to make the politician answerable to multiple constituencies subject to a common budget constraint. Our main findings are that (a) when politicians differ in competence, decentralization unambiguously dominates; and (b) when politicians differ in honesty, decentralization and centralization have conflicting accountability effects (when one provides better discipline, the other gives better selection). The analysis then identifies the circumstances under which centralization may increase voter welfare. The more general lesson that we can draw is that different institutional forms give rise to different information to the voters on which electoral accountability can be based. Therefore they differ on how effective elections can be in disciplining and selecting policymakers.

Date: 2004-07
References: View references in EconPapers View complete reference list from CitEc
Citations View citations in EconPapers (7) Track citations by RSS feed

Downloads: (external link)
https://uclouvain.be/en/research-institutes/immaq/core/dp-2004.html (text/html)
Our link check indicates that this URL is bad, the error code is: 404 Not Found

Related works:
This item may be available elsewhere in EconPapers: Search for items with the same title.

Export reference: BibTeX RIS (EndNote, ProCite, RefMan) HTML/Text

Persistent link: https://EconPapers.repec.org/RePEc:cor:louvco:2004052

Access Statistics for this paper

More papers in CORE Discussion Papers from Université catholique de Louvain, Center for Operations Research and Econometrics (CORE) Voie du Roman Pays 34, 1348 Louvain-la-Neuve (Belgium). Contact information at EDIRC.
Bibliographic data for series maintained by Alain GILLIS ().

 
Page updated 2018-12-11
Handle: RePEc:cor:louvco:2004052