NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH
NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH

Fiscal Federalism and Legislative Malapportionment: Causal Evidence from Independent but Related Natural Experiments

Sebastian Galiani, Iván Torre, Gustavo Torrens

NBER Working Paper No. 19995
Issued in March 2014, Revised in June 2014
NBER Program(s):DEV

We exploit three natural experiments in Argentina in order to study the role of legislative malapportionment on the biased federal tax sharing scheme prevalent in the country. We do not find support to attribute it to legislative malapportionment during periods when democratic governments were in place; nor did we find any evidence that the tax sharing distribution pattern became less biased under centralized military governments. We argue that these results are attributable to two of Argentina's institutional characteristics: first, the predominance of the executive branch over the legislature; and, second, the lack of any significant difference in the pattern of geographic representation in the executive branch under democratic and autocratic governments. Thus, the observed biases in the distribution of tax revenues among the Argentine provinces are not caused by legislative malapportionment, but are instead the result of a more structural political equilibrium that transcends the geographic distribution of legislative representation and even the nature of the political regime. Our findings also illustrate the importance of informal institutions and the interactions between formal and informal institutions. Legislative malapportionment could have an innocuous influence in countries with a strong executive branch but could become a key factor in countries with an empowered Congress.

download in pdf format
   (1014 K)

email paper

Machine-readable bibliographic record - MARC, RIS, BibTeX

Document Object Identifier (DOI): 10.3386/w19995

Published: Sebastian Galiani & Iván Torre & Gustavo Torrens, 2016. "Fiscal Federalism and Legislative Malapportionment: Causal Evidence from Independent but Related Natural Experiments," Economics and Politics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 28(1), pages 133-159, 03. citation courtesy of

Users who downloaded this paper also downloaded* these:
Wright, Tekin, Topalli, McClellan, Dickinson, and Rosenfeld w19996 Less Cash, Less Crime: Evidence from the Electronic Benefit Transfer Program
Itskhoki and Moll w19994 Optimal Development Policies with Financial Frictions
Buera, Fattal-Jaef, and Shin w19997 Anatomy of a Credit Crunch: From Capital to Labor Markets
Glazer, McGuire, and Shi w19998 Risk Adjustment of Health Plan Payments to Correct Inefficient Plan Choice from Adverse Selection
Muralidharan, Niehaus, and Sukhtankar w19999 Building State Capacity: Evidence from Biometric Smartcards in India
 
Publications
Activities
Meetings
NBER Videos
Themes
Data
People
About

National Bureau of Economic Research, 1050 Massachusetts Ave., Cambridge, MA 02138; 617-868-3900; email: info@nber.org

Contact Us