The Devolution Tortoise and the Centralization HareThe Devolution Tortoise and the Centralization Hare

May 27, 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