Bulletin n. 2/2016
December 2016
  • Section A) The theory and practise of the federal states and multi-level systems of government
  • Section B) Global governance and international organizations
  • Section C) Regional integration processes
  • Section D) Federalism as a political idea
  • Datt Divya, Keswani Mehra Meeta
    Environmental Policy in a Federation with Special Interest Politics and Inter-Governmental Grants
    in Environmental & Resource Economics , Volume 64, Issue 4, August ,  2016 ,  575-595
    The paper explores the potential effect of intergovernmental grants (IGG) on sub-national (local) environmental policy in a federal structure. In the model, a politically-inclined local government receives campaign contributions from the polluters’ lobby in return for lower pollution taxes. A benevolent federal government uses IGG as an incentive to reduce the resulting distortion in the local pollution tax. IGG are formulaic transfers that are conditional on pollution levels—lower pollution in a sub-national jurisdiction relative to others translates into a higher share of the grant and vice versa. In equilibrium, the grant effect reduces the distortion created in the pollution tax by the lobby effect, and may even lead to a higher than Pigouvian tax when the local government assigns a large enough weight on social welfare and/or when the grant is large enough. Further, IGG result in the tax levels of jurisdictions becoming interdependent in an interesting way. Environmental policies in two jurisdictions may become strategic complements or substitutes depending on their relative pollution levels. The possibility of strategic substitution implies that federal welfare may not increase even when environmental policy becomes stricter in one state.
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