A Caltech Library Service

Federal mandates by popular demand

Crémer, Jacques and Palfrey, Thomas R. (2000) Federal mandates by popular demand. Journal of Political Economy, 108 (5). pp. 905-927. ISSN 0022-3808.

See Usage Policy.


Use this Persistent URL to link to this item:


This paper proposes a new framework for studying federal mandates regarding public policies in areas such as environmental quality, public health, highway safety, and the provision of local public goods. Voters have single-peaked preferences along a single policy dimension. There are two levels of government, federal and local. The federal level can constrain local policy by mandating a minimum (or maximum) policy. Localities are free to adopt any policy satisfying the constraint imposed by the federal mandate. We show that voters choose federal mandates that are too strict, which leads to excessively severe mandates. We show that similar results can obtain when federal provision of the public-provided good is more efficient than local provision.

Item Type:Article
Related URLs:
URLURL TypeDescription
Palfrey, Thomas R.0000-0003-0769-8109
Additional Information:© 2000 by The University of Chicago. We wish to thank Laboratoire Commun de Recherche en Économie de l'Environnement, de l'Énergie et du Secteur Public for financial support. Useful comments were provided by Jenna Bednar, Jean Tirole, a referee, and the editor, as well as seminar participants at Virginia Polytechnic Institute, Toulouse, Munich, Lisbon, the 1998 meeting of the Public Choice Society, and the 1998 Wallis Conference in Political Economy.
Issue or Number:5
Record Number:CaltechAUTHORS:CREjpe00
Persistent URL:
Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:4891
Deposited By: Lindsay Cleary
Deposited On:12 Sep 2006
Last Modified:22 Nov 2019 09:58

Repository Staff Only: item control page