Competitive Federalism in Institutional Perspective

  • Richard E. Wagner


The two terms in my title, “competitive federalism” and “institutional perspective,” call for some prefatory comment. Competitive federalism is an intellectual construction that locates governance within an openly competitive approach to processes of social organization. This construction stands in contrast to that of dual federalism, which envisions different levels of government as possessing sole, monopolistic authority in their assigned areas. A theory of competitive federalism has both positive and normative elements. Both elements assert that the relative sizes and spheres of activity of governments as well as of private organizations are all emergent properties of a competitive process. The normative element goes further and asserts that it is desirable that this competitive process be open, in opposition to a competitive process that is restricted and rigged.


Federal Government Consumer Surplus Institutional Framework Competitive Process Institutional Perspective 
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© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2001

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  • Richard E. Wagner

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