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Globalization and Political Geography

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  • Federico Etro

Abstract

I study a model of geopolitical organization endogenizing the size of nations, of their public spending and of their degree of openness. The optimal geography may not be a stable equilibrium and the Alesina-Spolaore bias toward too many nations tends to be confirmed. However, multiple equilibria can emerge with globalization backlash associated with large nations and high protectionism and equilibria with smaller countries and high openness which are also Pareto superior. A dynamic version of the model shows stable paths of decreasing size of nations, increasing globalization and (at least initially) increasing public spending. Such a process seems consistent with the historical experience, but it may converge toward a steady state with excessive globalization, too many countries and typically too much government spending.

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Paper provided by CESifo Group Munich in its series CESifo Working Paper Series with number 986.

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Date of creation: 2003
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Handle: RePEc:ces:ceswps:_986

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  1. Alesina, Alberto & Wacziarg, Romain, 1998. "Openness, country size and government," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 69(3), pages 305-321, September.
  2. Epple, Dennis & Romer, Thomas, 1991. "Mobility and Redistribution," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 99(4), pages 828-58, August.
  3. Wacziarg, Romain & Spolaore, Enrico & Alesina, Alberto, 2000. "Economic Integration and Political Disintegration," Scholarly Articles 4553029, Harvard University Department of Economics.
  4. Alesina, Alberto F & Angeloni, Ignazio & Etro, Federico, 2003. "International Unions," CEPR Discussion Papers 3913, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  5. Brueckner, Jan K., 2000. "A Tiebout/tax-competition model," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 77(2), pages 285-306, August.
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  7. Alberto Alesina & Enrico Spolaore, 1996. "International Conflict, Defense Spending and the Size of Countries," NBER Working Papers 5694, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  8. Brueckner, Jan K., 1979. "Spatial majority voting equilibria and the provision of public goods," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 6(3), pages 338-351, July.
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  10. Alesina, Alberto & Baqir, Reza & Easterly, William, 1999. "Public goods and ethnic divisions," Policy Research Working Paper Series 2108, The World Bank.
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  14. Alberto Alesina & Ignazio Angeloni & Federico Etro, 2001. "The Political Economy of International Unions," NBER Working Papers 8645, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  15. Robin W. Boadway & Frank R. Flatters, 1982. "Efficiency and Equalization Payments in a Federal System of Government: A Synthesis and Extension of Recent Results," Canadian Journal of Economics, Canadian Economics Association, vol. 15(4), pages 613-33, November.
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  17. WILDASIN, David, . "Nash equilibria in models of fiscal competition," CORE Discussion Papers RP -804, Université catholique de Louvain, Center for Operations Research and Econometrics (CORE).
  18. Gordon, Roger H, 1983. "An Optimal Taxation Approach to Fiscal Federalism," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 98(4), pages 567-86, November.
  19. Koleman S. Strumpf & Felix Oberholzer-Gee, 2002. "Endogenous Policy Decentralization: Testing the Central Tenet of Economic Federalism," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 110(1), pages 1-36, February.
  20. Alesina, Alberto & Spolaore, Enrico, 1997. "On the Number and Size of Nations," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 112(4), pages 1027-56, November.
  21. Wallace E. Oates, 1999. "An Essay on Fiscal Federalism," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 37(3), pages 1120-1149, September.
  22. Gradstein, Mark, 2004. "Political Bargaining in a Federation: Buchanan meets Coase," CEPR Discussion Papers 4188, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  23. Bolton, Patrick & Roland, Gerard, 1997. "The Breakup of Nations: A Political Economy Analysis," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 112(4), pages 1057-90, November.
  24. Buchanan, James M & Faith, Roger L, 1987. "Secession and the Limits of Taxation: Toward a Theory of Internal Exit," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 77(5), pages 1023-31, December.
  25. Charles M. Tiebout, 1956. "A Pure Theory of Local Expenditures," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 64, pages 416.
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Cited by:
  1. K Staal, 2004. "Country size and public good provision," Econometric Society 2004 Australasian Meetings 156, Econometric Society.
  2. Staal, Klaas, 2006. "Country size and publicly provided goods," Discussion Paper Series of SFB/TR 15 Governance and the Efficiency of Economic Systems 187, Free University of Berlin, Humboldt University of Berlin, University of Bonn, University of Mannheim, University of Munich.
  3. Federico Etro, 2006. "Political geography," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 127(3), pages 321-343, June.
  4. Klaas Staal, 2004. "Country Size and Public Good Provision," Tinbergen Institute Discussion Papers 04-026/1, Tinbergen Institute.

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