Competitive Governments: An Economic Theory of Politics and Public Finance

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Cambridge University Press, Sep 28, 1998 - Business & Economics - 385 pages
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Competitive Governments systematically explores the hypothesis that governments are internally competitive, that they are competitive in their relations with each other and in their relations with other institutions in society which, like them, supply consuming households with goods and services. Breton contends that competition not only serves to bring the political system to an equilibrium, but it also leads to a revelation of the households' true demand functions for publicly provided goods and services and to the molding of a link between the quantities and the qualities demanded and supplied and the tax prices paid for these goods and services.
  

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Contents

The conceptual framework
3
11 Goods and services defined
5
12 Models of government
9
13 Concepts of efficiency
17
14 Requisites of democracy
24
15 Competition
30
16 Assembling the building blocks
34
Demand and its revelation
37
i Technology
204
ii Coordination costs
209
b Nature
210
c Effects
212
iii Contractual enforcement costs
213
iv Caveats
222
b Collusion
223
84 The Wicksellian Connection remembered
226

21 Utility maximization
42
i Taxprices
43
ii Freeriding
44
iii Substitution
46
22 Demand revelation
48
i Motivation
49
ii Mechanism
52
23 Demand lobbies
57
i Aggregation and the interaction of demand lobbies with centers of power
59
ii Shirking by lobby members
61
iii Reverse shirking by lobby managers
64
iv Collusion and rentseeking
65
24 The Wicksellian Connection
66
25 Conclusion
69
Checks and balances
70
31 Compound governments
71
32 Definitions and assumptions
74
i Checking and balancing
75
ii Checking instruments illustrated
76
33 A formal model and some implications
79
34 The Wicksellian Connection anew
87
35 A digression on American exceptionalism
90
36 Balanced governments
93
37 Conclusion
95
Budgetary processes
96
41 The budgetary process of parliamentary governments
98
ii The model
101
42 The budgetary process of congressional governments
111
i Stylized structure
112
ii The model
114
43 The Wicksellian Connection once again
118
44 Conclusion
121
Consent suffrage and support
122
51 A model of political consent
123
i A Vox Dei dispensation model
125
ii A Vox Populi dispensation model
129
52 Introducing suffrage and support
134
53 Collusion and breakdown
141
54 The Wicksellian Connection once more
146
Hierarchy and bureaucracy
148
61 The problem defined
149
62 Models of inefficient bureaus
155
ii The discretionary power model
162
63 Models of efficient bureaus and bureaucracies
167
ii Bureaucracies
176
64 Conclusion
178
A retrospective overview
181
71 More definitions
183
72 Vertical competition
184
73 Horizontal competition
190
74 Conclusion
194
The organization of governmental systems
196
81 The standard explanation
197
82 An alternative explanation
203
85 Conclusion
227
Competition stability and central governments
228
91 The inducements to compete
229
i Tiebouts potential entry and exit mechanism
230
ii Salmons external benchmark mechanism
233
92 Some empirical evidence on intergovernmental competition
235
ii Estimates of political mobility
238
iii Analysis of price rivalry
239
93 Horizontal competition and stability
240
i Policy and program diffusion
241
ii Political mobility
243
iii Price rivalry
245
95 Securing stability
248
i Why use monitors?
249
ii Monitoring horizontal competition
250
b Regional policies
251
c Intergovernmental grants
254
iii Monitoring vertical competition
258
a Bicameralism
259
b Intrastate federalism
260
c Constitutional entrenchment
261
96 The Wicksellian Connection reconsidered
262
The world order
264
101 International competition
267
102 International regimes
271
103 The European Union
275
104 Conclusion
276
Sociopolitical structures
277
The size of the nonmarket sector
279
111 Nonprofit organizations
280
112 An alternative perspective
282
113 Goods are goods
284
114 Conclusion
285
The growth of governments
286
121 The determinants of supply
288
i Some preliminaries
289
ii Differential productivity growth of conventional inputs
293
iii Differential growth in the capacity to control freeriding
295
iv Differential growth in the ability to acquire information
302
122 Equilibrium and growth
304
123 Conclusion
308
Conclusion
311
Longterm budget deficits
315
The power of small groups
318
The independence of judiciaries
321
Information and pressure
326
An empirical Wicksellian Connection?
328
Overlap and duplication
331
The structure and stability of federal states
334
References
337
Name index
363
Subject index
369
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