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The Evolution of Constitutional Federalism in Australia: An Incomplete Contracts Approach

Grewal, Bhajan and Sheehan, Peter (2003) The Evolution of Constitutional Federalism in Australia: An Incomplete Contracts Approach. Working Paper. Victoria University, Melbourne, Australia.

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The interest in, and the appeal of, fiscal federalism and fiscal decentralization have been increasing in recent years. At the same time many mature federations continue to evolve towards greater centralization, as Australia has evolved in the last one hundred years. The reasons for the evolution of fiscal federalism towards greater centralization remain unclear, and the traditional theories of fiscal federalism shed little light on the factors that might be important in this process. This paper suggests that the insight yielded by the new institutional economics - that the motivations and incentives of economic agents, and the options available to them, are influenced in a fundamental sense by the incompleteness of contracts - may throw considerable light on the evolution of federalism in Australia over the past one hundred years.

Item Type: Monograph (Working Paper)
Uncontrolled Keywords: federalism; Australia; centralization; economics
Subjects: RFCD Classification > 340000 Economics
Faculty/School/Research Centre/Department > Centre for Strategic Economic Studies (CSES)
Depositing User: Ms Lesley Nelson
Date Deposited: 18 Oct 2005
Last Modified: 16 Nov 2017 10:33
DOI: CSES Working Paper No. 22
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