This book explores the politics of fiscal authority, focusing on the centralization of taxation in Latin America during the twentieth century. The book studies this issue in great detail for the case of Mexico. The political (and fiscal) fragmentation associated with civil war at the beginning of the century was eventually transformed into a highly centralized regime. The analysis shows that fiscal centralization can best be studied as the consequence of a bargain struck between self-interested regional and national politicians. Fiscal centralization was more extreme in Mexico than in most other places in the world, but the challenges and problems tackled by Mexican politicians were not unique. The book thus analyzes fiscal centralization and the origins of intergovernmental financial transfers in the other Latin American federal regimes, Argentina, Brazil, and Venezuela. The analysis sheds light on the factors that explain the consolidation of tax authority in developing countries.
• Systematic comparison of the variation in fiscal centralization and authority among the Latin American federations • Eclectic methodological approach tracing historical processes, applying game theory and providing statistical tests • Understanding of the link between political incentives, institutions, and fiscal outcomes in federal arrangements
1. Federalism, party hegemony and the centralization of fiscal authority; Part I. Fiscal Centralization in Mexico: 2. Regional fragmentation and failed commitment; 3. The official party as a regional compromise; 4. Nominations, veto players and gubernatorial stability; 5. Transfers and redistribution in the Mexican States; Part II. Centralization and Revenue-sharing in the Latin American Federations: 6. Venezuela: unitarianism in disguise; 7. Argentina: regime change and fragile credibility; 8. Brazil: the retention of fiscal authority; 9. State building, political institutions, and fiscal authority.
' … a major contribution to our understanding of how federalism has developed in the largest Latin American countries over the past century.' Journal of Latin American Studies
'… will undoubtedly form part of the burgeoning canon on fiscal federalism from a political economy perspective.' Political Studies Review