The Devolution Tortoise and the Centralization Hare

May/June 1998

There has been much talk in recent years of devolving powers and functions from the federal government to the states. Some observers even proclaim a "devolution revolution", the result of which will be a more efficient and effective federal government and more robust and responsive states. The generally recognized objectives of devolution include (1) more efficient provision and production of public services; (2) better alignment of the costs and benefits of government for a diverse citizenry; (3) better fits between public goods and their spatial characteristics; (4) increased competition, experimentation, and innovation in the public sector; (5) greater responsiveness to citizen preferences; and (6) more transparent accountability in policymaking.

Paper: John Kincaid

Panelists: David R. Beam, David T. Ellwood, William F. Fox, and William B. Modahl Moderator: George Latimer

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