State Capture from Below? The Contradictory Effects of Decentralisation on Public Spending

Müller, Sean; Vatter, Adrian; Arnold, Tobias (2015). State Capture from Below? The Contradictory Effects of Decentralisation on Public Spending. Journal of public policy, 37(04), pp. 363-400. Cambridge University Press 10.1017/S0143814X15000355

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This study analyses the contradictory effects of decentralisation on public spending. We distinguish three dimensions of decentralisation and analyse their joint and separate effects on public spending in the Swiss cantons over 20 years. We find that overall decentralisation has a strong, significant and negative effect on the size of the public sector, thus confirming the Leviathan hypothesis. The same holds for fiscal and institutional decentralisation. However, the extent to which political processes and actors are organised locally rather than centrally actually increases central and decreases local spending. This suggests that actors behave strategically when dealing with the centre by offloading the more costly policies. The wider implication of our study is that the balance between self-rule and shared rule has implications also for the size of the overall political system.

Item Type:

Journal Article (Original Article)

Division/Institute:

03 Faculty of Business, Economics and Social Sciences > Social Sciences > Institute of Political Science
03 Faculty of Business, Economics and Social Sciences > Social Sciences

UniBE Contributor:

Müller, Sean; Vatter, Adrian and Arnold, Tobias

Subjects:

300 Social sciences, sociology & anthropology > 320 Political science
300 Social sciences, sociology & anthropology

ISSN:

0143-814X

Publisher:

Cambridge University Press

Language:

English

Submitter:

Sean Müller

Date Deposited:

09 May 2016 08:50

Last Modified:

05 Nov 2017 02:04

Publisher DOI:

10.1017/S0143814X15000355

BORIS DOI:

10.7892/boris.79794

URI:

https://boris.unibe.ch/id/eprint/79794

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