The Political Economy of Inter-Regional Fiscal Flows
Show Less

The Political Economy of Inter-Regional Fiscal Flows

Measurement, Determinants and Effects on Country Stability

Edited by Núria Bosch, Marta Espasa and Albert Solé Ollé

Struggles over what a region receives, or should receive, from the budget of the central government are common to many countries. Discussions often focus on the measures of ‘net fiscal flows’ or ‘fiscal balances’ provided by the government or other actors. This unique book shows just how these flows are computed then interpreted and clarifies the often misunderstood economic and political motives that explain why some regions receive more monies than others.
Buy Book in Print
Show Summary Details
You do not have access to this content

Chapter 8: Federalism and Inter-regional Redistribution

Jonathan Rodden


Jonathan Rodden INTRODUCTION 1 Classic theories of federalism envision a community of sovereigns that come together and delegate limited powers to a central government in order to achieve collective goods like common defense, free trade, or a common currency (Riker 1964). In order to solve collective action problems, the federated units often find it necessary to delegate some powers of taxation to the center. For 19th century federations, the centralization of tariffs as part of a drive to create a common internal market was often a driving impetus for the formation of the union. Centralized taxation then opens the door to fiscal redistribution between federated units. Spurred on by World War I and the Great Depression, central governments during the 20th century gained access to forms of direct taxation and tools for inter-provincial redistribution that could not have been imagined by the founders of early confederations. In fact, over the course of the 20th century, some federations have developed a political rhetoric, in some cases enshrined in the constitution, whereby residents of the poorest localities are entitled to the same public services at the same cost as residents of the wealthiest localities. Accordingly, they have developed progressive forms of taxation, direct central government expenditure programs, and intergovernmental grants that transfer resources from taxpayers in wealthy provinces to those in poor provinces. On the one hand, this is not surprising. A workhorse model of political economy suggests that with full-franchise democracy and a right-skewed income distribution, the poor should be able...

You are not authenticated to view the full text of this chapter or article.

Elgaronline requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books or journals. Please login through your library system or with your personal username and password on the homepage.

Non-subscribers can freely search the site, view abstracts/ extracts and download selected front matter and introductory chapters for personal use.

Your library may not have purchased all subject areas. If you are authenticated and think you should have access to this title, please contact your librarian.

Further information

or login to access all content.