Government Structures in the U.S.A. and the Sovereign States of the Former U.S.S.R: Power Allocation among Central, Regional, and Local Governments

By James E. Hickey Jr.; Alexej Ugrinsky | Go to book overview

CONCLUSION

Decentralization of government's taxing and spending powers can better enable government to respond to the differing preferences of a heterogeneous population. A system of local jurisdictions offering a variety of tax/service bundles can serve as a competitive marketplace in which citizens shop for their utility-maximizing bundle.

These advantages, however, come at a cost. Decentralization, to an extent necessary to satisfy the full range of citizen preferences, may mean inefficient provision of government goods. The population benefiting from government provision of a good may exceed the population of the providing government. Unable to capture the full benefits and unable to impose a share of the cost on benefiting nonresidents, governments are likely to underprovide a good. Furthermore, such a decentralized system may incur both excessive administrative costs, due to duplication and unexploited economics of scale, and excessive compliance costs. Reducing these costs may require greater centralization than is consistent with fully satisfying the preferences of the heterogeneous population.

Efficient provision of government goods and the reduction of decisionmaking costs requires greater centralization of government powers. This is not a problem if it is assumed that government will act in the general interest; if government is a benevolent despot.

If, instead, government is comprised of serf-interested individuals, then the actions of government may not advance the general interest and, in fact, could work against it. In this case, greater centralization increases the risk of greater fiscal exploitation of the public by government. Increased decentralization and the fiscal competition it introduces can serve to constrain the exploitive tendencies of a self-interested government.

These benefits and costs of greater decentralization must be considered by the Soviet Union as it studies what form of federal structure to adopt. It must weigh the risk of fiscal exploitation, a risk that Soviet history suggests is not insignificant, against the potential efficiency gains of greater centralization.


NOTES
1.
Of the 15 republics, 11 have declared their independence. To date, only the independence of the three Baltic republics has been recognized by the central government.
2.
An implicit assumption is that governments can cease to exist due to lack of economic viability. Likewise, new governments can form at will. It is also assumed that there is an optimal size to a jurisdiction defined by the characteristics of the goods and services provided.

-211-

Notes for this page

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this book

This book has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this book

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this page

Cited page

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited page

Bookmark this page
Government Structures in the U.S.A. and the Sovereign States of the Former U.S.S.R: Power Allocation among Central, Regional, and Local Governments
Table of contents

Table of contents

Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this book

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen
/ 474

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Author Advanced search

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.