PhD Andreas Pehr

Do Federalism and Decentralization matter? Federalismo comparato - benchmarking e analisi causa-effetto (PhD)

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L'impatto dei diversi tipi di stato sulla performance di uno stato è questione ancora irrisolta. Ci sono diversi studi che teorizzano le conseguenze della struttura federale e di quella unitaria sulla capacità di un paese di rispondere alla sfide della società e di promuovere la prosperità economica. Cionondimeno, la definizione di tale relazione rimane ancora incerta. Alla luce di ciò il progetto di ricerca ambisce a colmare questa lacuna nella letteratura, analizzando al contempo sia stati federali che stati unitari ed integrando nell'analisi la dimensione socio-politica e quella economica. A tal fine si combinerà nell'analisi il metodo quantitativo a quello qualitativo. In questo modo lo studio favorirà un'osservazione anche empirica della relazione tra struttura statale federale o unitaria, da un lato, e capacità degli stati, dall'altro.

Since the 1950s, theorists of federalism stated several assumptions when it comes to the impact of federalism on state's performance. Yet, for most of these facets, according empirics finally proving these quite meaningful associations are still missing (cf. Treisman 2000, Bednar/Eskridge/Ferejohn 2001, Gerring/Thacker 2004, Voigt/Blume 2010, Uttermark 2019).

One of the most influential arguments in this respect concerns the superiority of federalism in economics. Numerous considerations suggest the advantage of a federal setting in comparsion to unitarist systems due to better information, fiscal equivalence, higher decentralization, et cetera. Similar arguements are made regarding the satisfaction of citizens towards federal governance. Since federal decision-makers are "closer" to their citizens and their problems than in unitarist orders, tailored policies and pertinent political answers are more likely. In contrary, social welfare may be less developed in federations, because the number of veto players and a potential race-to-the-bottom hinders generous social spending.

Empirical works came to divergent conclusions and to handle various shortcomings in terms of a thorough analysis. This project aims to overcome these difficulties and applies a mixed-methods approach as well as integrates new data sources. Via multivariat panel regressions and qualitative instruments the study attempts to resolve the relationship of federalism and the three before-mentioned research objects.

Elazar once said that federal theory must be validated by practical results. This is the very principle the study attempts to fulfill. It shall contribute to the broad literature with empirical evidence and deliver the "ultimate" answer to the questions raised in federal thought.

Federalism + Democracy = Happiness
Pehr A (2021)

Conference: ECPR General Conference 2021 | online | 30.8.2021 - 3.9.2021

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