Advanced Search
MyIDEAS: Login to save this article or follow this journal

Should transfer payments be indexed to local price levels?

Contents:

Author Info

  • Glaeser, E. L.

Abstract

This paper examines the optimal location-based redistribution policy and shows that adjustment for local price levels is occasionally optimal, but never for the reasons suggested by the popular press. First, the existence of a spatial equilibrium suggests that utility levels will be equalized across space, so there is little equity rationale for indexing transfers to local prices. Second, since transfers to high cost areas buy less than transfers to low cost areas, it is in fact less efficient to transfer to high cost areas. However, even though migration ensures that utilities are equalized across space, marginal utilities of income will not necessarily be equalized, and since optimal transfer policy equalizes marginal,not total, utilities there is possibly a rationale for indexing to local pricelevels. Optimal indexing is a function of the coefficient of relative risk aversion, the elasticity of migration with respect to transfer differences across space and the degree to which higher amenities in high cost areas increase or decrease the marginal utility of income. Given my best parameter estimates, a one percent increase in local prices should lead to a .5 percent increase in transfers, when transfers are 2/3 of total income. My estimates from current AFDC payments suggest that the current level of implicit indexing is too high to possibly be optimal.

(This abstract was borrowed from another version of this item.)

Download Info

If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.
File URL: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/B6V89-40BFW9X-1/2/69caeb0ce71d10345fb4aff7bf87b47e
Download Restriction: Full text for ScienceDirect subscribers only

As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to look for a different version under "Related research" (further below) or search for a different version of it.

Bibliographic Info

Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Regional Science and Urban Economics.

Volume (Year): 28 (1998)
Issue (Month): 1 (January)
Pages: 1-20

as in new window
Handle: RePEc:eee:regeco:v:28:y:1998:i:1:p:1-20

Contact details of provider:
Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/regec

Related research

Keywords:

Other versions of this item:

Find related papers by JEL classification:

References

References listed on IDEAS
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
as in new window
  1. Louis Kaplow, 1995. "Regional Cost-of-Living Adjustments in Tax-Transfer Schemes," NBER Working Papers 5008, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. Brown, Charles C. & Oates, Wallace E., 1987. "Assistance to the poor in a federal system," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 32(3), pages 307-330, April.
  3. Robert B. Barsky & Miles S. Kimball & F. Thomas Juster & Matthew D. Shapiro, 1995. "Preference Parameters and Behavioral Heterogeneity: An Experimental Approach in the Health and Retirement Survey," NBER Working Papers 5213, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  4. Edward L. Glaeser & David C. Mare, 1994. "Cities and Skills," NBER Working Papers 4728, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  5. Feldstein, Martin & Wrobel, Marian Vaillant, 1998. "Can state taxes redistribute income?," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 68(3), pages 369-396, June.
  6. Hansen, Lars Peter & Singleton, Kenneth J, 1983. "Stochastic Consumption, Risk Aversion, and the Temporal Behavior of Asset Returns," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 91(2), pages 249-65, April.
  7. R. Mehra & E. Prescott, 2010. "The equity premium: a puzzle," Levine's Working Paper Archive 1401, David K. Levine.
  8. Rauch James E., 1993. "Productivity Gains from Geographic Concentration of Human Capital: Evidence from the Cities," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 34(3), pages 380-400, November.
  9. John H. Cochrane & Lars Peter Hansen, 1992. "Asset Pricing Explorations for Macroeconomics," NBER Chapters, in: NBER Macroeconomics Annual 1992, Volume 7, pages 115-182 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  10. Wildasin, David E, 1991. "Income Redistribution in a Common Labor Market," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 81(4), pages 757-74, September.
  11. Roback, Jennifer, 1982. "Wages, Rents, and the Quality of Life," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 90(6), pages 1257-78, December.
  12. Feldstein, Martin & Wrobel, Marian Vaillant, 1994. "Can State Taxes Redistribute Income?," Scholarly Articles 2799054, Harvard University Department of Economics.
  13. J. R. Walker, . "Migration amoung low-income households: Helping the witch doctors reach consensus," Institute for Research on Poverty Discussion Papers 1031-94, University of Wisconsin Institute for Research on Poverty.
  14. Edward M. Gramlich & Deborah S. Laren, 1984. "Migration and Income Redistribution Responsibilities," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 19(4), pages 489-511.
  15. Olivier Jean Blanchard & Lawrence F. Katz, 1992. "Regional Evolutions," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 23(1), pages 1-76.
  16. Blank, Rebecca M., 1988. "The effect of welfare and wage levels on the location decisions of female-headed households," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 24(2), pages 186-211, September.
  17. Moffitt, Robert, 1992. "Incentive Effects of the U.S. Welfare System: A Review," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 30(1), pages 1-61, March.
  18. repec:fth:stanho:e-94-11 is not listed on IDEAS
  19. repec:fth:coluec:9596-18 is not listed on IDEAS
Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

Citations

Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.
as in new window

Cited by:
  1. David Albouy, 2009. "The Unequal Geographic Burden of Federal Taxation," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 117(4), pages 635-667, 08.
  2. Edward L. Glaeser & Joshua D. Gottlieb, 2009. "The Wealth of Cities: Agglomeration Economies and Spatial Equilibrium in the United States," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 47(4), pages 983-1028, December.
  3. Alejandro Esteller-More (Universitat de Barcelona) & Leonzio Rizzo (Universita di Ferrara), 2009. "(Uncontrolled) Aggregate shocks or vertical tax interdependence? Evidende from gasoline and cigarettes," Working Papers in Economics 233, Universitat de Barcelona. Espai de Recerca en Economia.
  4. Moretti, Enrico, 2010. "Local Labor Markets," IZA Discussion Papers 4905, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  5. Albouy, David, 2012. "Evaluating the efficiency and equity of federal fiscal equalization," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 96(9-10), pages 824-839.
  6. Tanguay, Georges & Hunt, Gary & Marceau, Nicolas, 2002. "Using a Canadian-American Natural Experiment to Study Relative Efficiencies of Social Welfare Payment Systems," Cahiers de recherche 0205, CIRPEE.
  7. Georges Tanguay & Gary Hunt & Nicolas Marceau, 2005. "Food Prices and the Timing of Welfare Payments: A Canadian Study," Canadian Public Policy, University of Toronto Press, vol. 31(2), pages 145-160, June.
  8. repec:fth:prinin:423 is not listed on IDEAS
  9. Albert Solé-Ollé & Elisabet Viladecans-Marsal, . "Cities as engines of regional growth," Studies on the Spanish Economy 145, FEDEA.
  10. Black, Duncan, 1999. "Local Knowledge Spillovers and Inequality," ERSA conference papers ersa99pa409, European Regional Science Association.

Lists

This item is not listed on Wikipedia, on a reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.

Statistics

Access and download statistics

Corrections

When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:eee:regeco:v:28:y:1998:i:1:p:1-20. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Zhang, Lei).

If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.

If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.

If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.