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Policy responses to a dark side of the integration of regions and nations

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  • Stark, Oded

Abstract

In this paper I study policy responses to an increase in post-merger distress. I consider the integration of regions and nations as a merger of populations which I view as a revision of social space, and I identify the effect of the merger on aggregate distress. The paper is based on the premise that the merger of groups of people alters their social landscape and their comparators. Employing a specific measure of social distress that is based on the sensing of relative deprivation, a merger increases aggregate distress: the social distress of a merged population is greater than the sum of the social distress of the constituent populations when apart. In response, policies are enacted to ensure that aggregate distress and/or that of individuals does not rise after a merger. I consider two publicly-financed, cost-effective policies designed so as not to reduce individuals’ incomes: a policy that reverses the negative effect of the merger on the aggregate level of relative deprivation, bringing it back to the sum of the pre-merger levels of aggregate relative deprivation of the two populations when apart; and a policy that is aimed at retaining the relative deprivation of each individual at most at its pre-merger level. These two policies are developed as algorithms. Numerical examples illustrate the application of the algorithms.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by University of Bonn, Center for Development Research (ZEF) in its series Discussion Papers with number 122036.

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Date of creation: Mar 2012
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Handle: RePEc:ags:ubzefd:122036

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Related research

Keywords: Merger of populations; Revision of social space; Aggregate relative deprivation; Societal distress; Policy responses; Community/Rural/Urban Development; Labor and Human Capital; D04; D63; F55; H53; P51;

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  1. Hyll, Walter & Stark, Oded & Wang, Yong, 2011. "Endogenous selection of comparison groups, human capital formation, and tax policy," University of Tuebingen Working Papers in Economics and Finance 3, University of Tuebingen, Faculty of Economics and Social Sciences.
  2. Stark, Oded & Fan, C. Simon, 2011. "Migration for degrading work as an escape from humiliation," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 77(3), pages 241-247, March.
  3. Stark, Oded & Hyll, Walter, 2011. "On the economic architecture of the workplace: Repercussions of social comparisons among heterogeneous workers," MPRA Paper 28910, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  4. Stark, Oded & Rendl, Franz & Jakubek, Marcin, 2011. "The merger of populations, the incidence of marriages, and aggregate unhappiness," University of Tuebingen Working Papers in Economics and Finance 10, University of Tuebingen, Faculty of Economics and Social Sciences.
  5. Hey, John D & Lambert, Peter J, 1980. "Relative Deprivation and the Gini Coefficient: Comment," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 95(3), pages 567-73, November.
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