Panarchie, by Paul Emile De Puydt, Revue Trimestrielle, Brussels, July 1860 is the earliest appearance of the idea of competitive federalism that I know about. Here is an english translation. Paul Emile De Puydt's ideas seem incomplete because he does not say who controls the Bureau for Political Membership, or who judges disputes between people who are subject to different governments. Paul Emile De Puydt says what should happen when people disagree about the form of government, like monarchy versus a republic; but does not say what happens when people disagree about government policy, like war versus peace. Paul Emile De Puydt's basic ideas are that people should be allowed to choose their government, and that people should be allowed to choose a government which is different than the government chosen by their neighbors; this is competitive federalism. More people with similar ideas can be found at http://www.panarchy.org".
The Economist magazine, March 4-10 2006, page 54, Bagehot: Otherwise engaged says some people do not vote because "voting is not more like shopping". That is like competive federalism because the relationship between people and the government should be more like the relationships between consumers and consumer businesses. But I would not use the word shopping because the word shopping suggest the social experience of a trip to the mall instead of the relationship between a consumer and a consumer business.
Newsweek magazine, March 13 2006, page 72, Let States Be Entrepreneurs, by George F. Will argues in favor of competitive federalism, although George F. Will calls it "entrepreneurial federalism". Entrepreneurial federalism might be a better name than competitive federalism. Competitive federalism suggests that existing governments compete with each other, while entrepreneurial federalism emphasizes the importance of allowing people to create new governments to compete with the existing governments. I think that competition between new governments and existing governments is more important than competition between existing governments. However, George F. Will says nothing about new governments, so George F. Will is probably not in favor of allowing people to create new governments, so George F. Will's use of the phrase entrepreneurial federalism is misleading.
The Atlas Economic Research Foundation's newsletter Atlas Highlights winter 2006-7 page 17 describes the work of Mark Pennington, Senior Lecturer in Political Economy, Department of Politics, Queen Mary College, University of London. Mark Pennington studies government land use regulation, and concludes that there should be competition between different systems of land use regulation. Mark Pennington has written a book about this, which should be published in 2008 by Edward Elgar, with the title Towards the Minimal State: Markets and the Future of Public Policy. Atlas's Fund for the Study of Spontaneous Orders awarded a prize to Mark Pennington in fall 2006.
Freedom Network News, the newsletter of the International Society of Individual Liberty, number 76 December 2007, pages 14 and 15, says: Butler Shaffer doubts the effectiveness of constitutional guarantees of human rights. Quotation from Anthony de Jasay: "There is no way - constitutional or otherwise - to keep a sizeable number of people from doing whatever they want to do." Butler Shaffer wrote books Calculated Chaos:Institutional Threats To Peace and Human Survivial and In Restraint of Trade: The Business Campaign Against Competition, 1918-1938. Butler Shaffer thinks dynamism is good. Butler Shaffer thinks society should be organized based on spontaneous and autonomous systems. Butler Shaffer thinks decentralism and seccession is good. Butler Shaffer dislikes big business, likes small business. Big businesses often lobby the government for special priveledges; Butler Shaffer blames big business for this, but I disagree and blame the government for allowing it. Butler Shaffer is a professor at Southwestern Law School in Los Angeles.
Cato's Letter, a publication of the Cato Institute , spring 2011, volume 9, number 2; is Robust Political Economy by Mark Pennington. Mark Pennington is not discussing competitive federalism, but his reasoning applies to competitive federalism. Mark Pennington says a "framework that provides for exit enables people to escape from the depredations of potentially predatory actors. If pwople are acting opportunistically, the capacity to exit from relationships with these actors providea a disciplinary check on potentially self-interested behavior." Mark Pennington says "The most important form of learning takes place from seeing what other pople do in their lives, and learning from their expericnces. In order for that sort of learning to take place, it's absoulutely imperative that the wideest possible number of experiences - or experiments in living, if you like - actually occur."