Journal article

Uniformity Requirement and Political Accountability

Publication Details
Author(s): Wrede M
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.

How to cite
APA: Wrede, M. (2006). Uniformity Requirement and Political Accountability. Journal of Economics, 89, 95-113.

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

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