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Enlargement versus Deepening: The Trade-off Facing Economic Unions

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  • Oliver Lorz
  • Gerald Willmann

Abstract

This paper analyzes the relationship between the size of an economic union and the degree of policy centralization. We consider a political economy setting in which elected representatives bargain about the degree of centralization within the union. In our model strategic delegation affects the identity of the representatives and hence the equilibrium policy outcome. We show that the relationship between the size of the union and centralization may be non-monotonic: Up to a certain size of the union enlargement leads to deeper integration,whereas beyond that size further enlargement implies less centralization. We also show that freezing the level of centralization or allowing an associated membership can mitigate the trade-off.

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File URL: http://www.cesifo-group.de/portal/page/portal/DocBase_Content/WP/WP-CESifo_Working_Papers/wp-cesifo-2008/wp-cesifo-2008-11/cesifo1_wp2455.pdf
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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by CESifo Group Munich in its series CESifo Working Paper Series with number 2455.

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Date of creation: 2008
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Handle: RePEc:ces:ceswps:_2455

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Keywords: fiscal federalism; policy centralization; political economy;

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References

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  1. Redoano, Michela & Scharf, Kimberly A., 2004. "The political economy of policy centralization: direct versus representative democracy," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 88(3-4), pages 799-817, March.
  2. Giovanni Facchini & Oliver Lorz & Gerald Willmann, 2006. "Asylum seekers in Europe: the warm glow of a hot potato," Journal of Population Economics, Springer, vol. 19(2), pages 411-430, June.
  3. Wolfgang Buchholz & Alexander Haupt & Wolfgang Peters, 2005. "International Environmental Agreements and Strategic Voting," Scandinavian Journal of Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 107(1), pages 175-195, 03.
  4. Etro, Federico & Ageloni, Ignazio & Alesina, Alberto, 2005. "International Unions," Scholarly Articles 4553008, Harvard University Department of Economics.
  5. Guillaume Cheikbossian, 2000. "Federalism, distributive politics and representative democracy," Economics of Governance, Springer, vol. 1(2), pages 105-122, 07.
  6. Besley, Timothy & Coate, Stephen, 2003. "Centralized versus decentralized provision of local public goods: a political economy approach," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 87(12), pages 2611-2637, December.
  7. Gian Maria Milesi-Ferretti & Roberto Perotti & Massimo Rostagno, 2002. "Electoral Systems And Public Spending," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 117(2), pages 609-657, May.
  8. Robert Dur & Hein Roelfsema, 2005. "Why does centralisation fail to internalise policy externalities?," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 122(3), pages 395-416, March.
  9. Anders Olofsgârd, 2004. "Secessions and Political Extremism: Why Regional Referenda Do Not Solve the Problem," Journal of the European Economic Association, MIT Press, vol. 2(5), pages 805-832, 09.
  10. Lorz, Oliver & Willmann, Gerald, 2005. "On the endogenous allocation of decision powers in federal structures," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 57(2), pages 242-257, March.
  11. Michele Ruta, 2005. "Economic Theories of Political (Dis)integration," Journal of Economic Surveys, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 19(1), pages 1-21, 02.
  12. Wilson, John Douglas & Janeba, Eckhard, 2005. "Decentralization and international tax competition," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 89(7), pages 1211-1229, July.
  13. Persson, Torsten & Tabellini, Guido, 1991. "The Politics of 1992: Fiscal Policy and European Integration," CEPR Discussion Papers 501, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  14. Christina Schneider, 2007. "Enlargement processes and distributional conflicts: The politics of discriminatory membership in the European Union," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 132(1), pages 85-102, July.
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Cited by:
  1. Harstad, Bård, 2010. "Strategic delegation and voting rules," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 94(1-2), pages 102-113, February.
  2. Libman, Alexander Mikhailovich, 2009. "Эндогенные Границы И Распределение Власти В Федерациях И Международных Сообществах
    [ENDOGENOUS BOUNDARIES AND DISTRIBUTION O
    ," MPRA Paper 16473, University Library of Munich, Germany.

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