Federalism as Compared to What? Sorting Out the Effects of Federalism, Unitary Systems, and Decentralization

28 Pages Posted: 20 Mar 2017

See all articles by Malcolm M. Feeley

Malcolm M. Feeley

University of California, Berkeley

Aniket Kesari

University of California, Berkeley - D-Lab (Data-Intensive Social Science Lab); Yale Law School

Date Written: March 17, 2017

Abstract

Federalism as compared to what? Most American students of federalism rarely compare federal systems to others, and thus lack the ability to say anything meaningful about federalism’s effect on economics, social policies, civic participation, and public welfare. We argue that many of the supposed virtues of federalism are actually the result of decentralization, that unitarism is generally associated with better economic and social outcomes, and that scholars must distinguish between the economic concept of “fiscal federalism” and constitutional federalism. We cite a number of comparative studies from political science, and leverage their data to support our contentions.

Keywords: Federalism

Suggested Citation

Feeley, Malcolm M. and Kesari, Aniket, Federalism as Compared to What? Sorting Out the Effects of Federalism, Unitary Systems, and Decentralization (March 17, 2017). UC Berkeley Public Law Research Paper, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2935237 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2935237

Malcolm M. Feeley (Contact Author)

University of California, Berkeley ( email )

310 Barrows Hall
Berkeley, CA 94720
United States

Aniket Kesari

University of California, Berkeley - D-Lab (Data-Intensive Social Science Lab) ( email )

350 Barrows Hall
Berkeley, CA 94704
United States

HOME PAGE: http://https://akesari12.github.io/

Yale Law School ( email )

127 Wall Street
New Haven, CT 06510
United States

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