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Federal Fiscal Constitutions: Part 1: Risk Sharing and Moral Hazard
Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Institute for International Economic Studies.
University of Brescia.
1992 (English)Report (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

Inspired by the current European developments, we study equilibrium fiscal policy under alternative constitutional arrangements in a "federation" of countries. There are two levels of government: local and federal. Local policy redistributes across individuals and affects the probability of aggregate shocks, while federal policy shares international risk. Policies are chosen under majority rule. There is a moral hazard problem: federal risk-sharing can induce the local governments to enact policies that increase local risk. We investigate this incentive problem under alternative fiscal constitutions. In particular, we contrast a vertically ordered system like the EC with a horizontally ordered federal system like the US. These alternative arrangements are not neutral, in the sense that they create different incentives for policymakers and voters, and give rise to different political equilibria. A general conclusion is that, centralization of functions and power can be welfare improving under appropriate institutions. However, this conclusion only applies to the moral hazard problem and a federation where the countries are not too dissimilar.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Stockholm: IIES , 1992. , 43 p.
Seminar Paper / Institute for International Economic Studies, Stockholm University, ISSN 0347-8769 ; 519
Keyword [en]
fiscal federalism, politics, risk sharing, principal-agent models
National Category
URN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-41837OAI: diva2:337931
Available from: 2010-08-10 Created: 2010-08-10 Last updated: 2010-08-10Bibliographically approved

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Persson, Torsten
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