Uniformity Requirement and Political Accountability

Journal article

Publication Details

Author(s): Wrede M
Journal: Journal of Economics
Publisher: Springer Verlag (Germany)
Publication year: 2006
Journal issue: 89
Pages range: 95-113
ISSN: 0931-8658
Language: English


This paper discusses the fundamental hypothesis of policy uniformity under

centralized decision making, which underlies Oates’ famous decentralization

theorem. The theorem has, in more recent times, come under pressure owing to

the prediction that local public goods are provided to minimum winning coalitions

rather than uniformly. The focus of this paper is on the impact of uniformity

rules on political accountability. Using the concept of minimum winning coalitions,

it is shown that the power of voters over politicians vanishes if election

districts receive different levels of local public goods. However, the setting up of

sufficiently strong uniformity rules means that voters regain power. According to

Oates’ theorem, uniformity is the main disadvantage of centralization but,

according to the analysis undertaken in this paper, centralization without uniformity

would be even worse.

FAU Authors / FAU Editors

Wrede, Matthias Prof. Dr.
Lehrstuhl für Volkswirtschaftslehre, insbesondere Sozialpolitik

How to cite

Wrede, M. (2006). Uniformity Requirement and Political Accountability. Journal of Economics, 89, 95-113. https://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s00712-006-0209-3

Wrede, Matthias. "Uniformity Requirement and Political Accountability." Journal of Economics 89 (2006): 95-113.


Last updated on 2018-11-08 at 02:15