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Voluntary Matching Grants Can Forestall Social Dumping

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  • Jacques H. Drèze
  • Charles Figuières
  • Jean Hindriks

Abstract

The European economic integration leads to increasing mobility of factors, thereby threatening the stability of social transfer programs. This paper investigates the possibility to achieve by means of voluntary matching grants both the optimal allocation of factors and the optimal level of redistribution in the presence of factor mobility. We use a fiscal competition model a la Wildasin (1991) in which states differ in their technologies and preferences for redistribution. We first investigate a simple process in which the regulatory authority progressively raises the matching grants to the district choosing the lowest transfer and all districts respond optimally to the resulting change in transfers all around. This process is shown to increase total production and the level of redistribution. However it does not guarantee that all districts gain, nor that an efficient level of redistribution is attained. Assuming complete information among districts, we first derive the willingness of each district to match the contribution of other districts and we show that the aggregate willingness to pay for matching rates converges to zero when both the efficient level of redistribution and the efficient allocation of factors are achieved. We then describe the adjustment process for the matching rates that will lead districts to the efficient outcome and guarantee that everyone will gain.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by CESifo Group Munich in its series CESifo Working Paper Series with number 1867.

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Date of creation: 2006
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Handle: RePEc:ces:ceswps:_1867

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Keywords: fiscal federalism; adjustment process; matching grants;

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  1. John Roberts, 1977. "Incentives in Planning Procedures for the Provision of Public Goods," Discussion Papers 264, Northwestern University, Center for Mathematical Studies in Economics and Management Science.
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  3. David E. Wildasin, 2000. "Factor mobility and fiscal policy in the EU: policy issues and analytical approaches," Economic Policy, CEPR & CES & MSH, vol. 15(31), pages 337-378, October.
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  13. Wildasin, D.E., 1987. "Nash equilibria in models of fiscal competition," CORE Discussion Papers 1987020, Université catholique de Louvain, Center for Operations Research and Econometrics (CORE).
  14. 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.
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  16. Andreas Pfingsten & Andreas Wagener, 1997. "Centralized vs. Decentralized Redistribution: A Case for Interregional Transfer Mechanisms," International Tax and Public Finance, Springer, vol. 4(4), pages 429-451, November.
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  18. Wildasin, David E, 1991. "Income Redistribution in a Common Labor Market," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 81(4), pages 757-74, September.
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