Representation and redistribution in federations

Tiberiu Dragu, Jonathan Rodden

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

    Abstract

    Many of the world's most populous democracies are political unions composed of states or provinces that are unequally represented in the national legislature. Scattered empirical studies, most of them focusing on the United States, have discovered that overrepresented states appear to receive larger shares of the national budget. Although this relationship is typically attributed to bargaining advantages associated with greater legislative representation, an important threat to empirical identification stems from the fact that the representation scheme was chosen by the provinces. Thus, it is possible that representation and fiscal transfers are both determined by other characteristics of the provinces in a specific country. To obtain an improved estimate of the relationship between representation and redistribution, we collect and analyze provincial-level data from nine federations over several decades, taking advantage of the historical process through which federations formed and expanded. Controlling for a variety of country- and province-level factors and using a variety of estimation techniques, we show that overrepresented provinces in political unions around the world are rather dramatically favored in the distribution of resources.

    Original languageEnglish (US)
    Pages (from-to)8601-8604
    Number of pages4
    JournalProceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America
    Volume108
    Issue number21
    DOIs
    StatePublished - May 24 2011

    ASJC Scopus subject areas

    • General

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