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Licensed Unlicensed Requires Authentication Published by De Gruyter December 30, 2009

Self-Defeating Subsidiarity

Emanuela Carbonara, Barbara Luppi and Francesco Parisi
From the journal Review of Law & Economics

The subsidiarity principle was formally adopted in 1992 by the European Union to limit excessive centralization of competences. According to the subsidiarity test, a given policy responsibility should be allocated to the lowest possible level of government, unless there is evidence that the central government (the Union) has a comparative advantage in fulfilling the task under consideration. Contrary to its stated goal, the adoption of the subsidiarity principle was followed by a wave of intense centralization. In this paper, we address this paradox by studying the effects and the limitations of the subsidiarity test in promoting an optimal level of centralization.

Published Online: 2009-12-30

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