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The Regional Distribution of Public Employment: Theory and Evidence

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  • Kessing, Sebastian G.

    ()
    (University of Siegen)

  • Strozzi, Chiara

    ()
    (University of Modena and Reggio Emilia)

Abstract

We analyze the optimal regional pattern of public employment in an information-constrained second-best redistribution policy showing that regionally differentiated public employment can serve as an expenditure side tagging device, bypassing or relaxing the equity-efficiency trade-off. The optimal pattern exhibits higher levels of public employment in low productivity regions and is more pronounced the higher is the degree of regional inequality within the country. Empirically, using a panel of European regions from 1995-2007, we find evidence that public employment is systematically higher in low productivity regions. The latter effect is stronger in countries with higher levels of regional inequality.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA) in its series IZA Discussion Papers with number 6449.

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Length: 25 pages
Date of creation: Mar 2012
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp6449

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Keywords: public employment; redistribution; regional inequality; European regions;

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  1. Esteban Jaimovich & Juan Pablo Rud, 2009. "Excessive Public Employment and Rent-Seeking Traps," Carlo Alberto Notebooks 118, Collegio Carlo Alberto.
  2. Stephan Danninger & Alberto Alesina & Massimo V. Rostagno, 1999. "Redistribution Through Public Employment - The Case of Italy," IMF Working Papers 99/177, International Monetary Fund.
  3. Blomquist, Sören & Christiansen, Vidar, 2007. "Public Provision of Private Goods and Nondistortionary Marginal Tax Rates," Working Paper Series 2007:7, Uppsala University, Department of Economics.
  4. Enlinson Mattos & Vitor França, 2011. "Public employment and income redistribution: causal evidence for Brazilian municipalities," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 146(1), pages 43-73, January.
  5. KaiA. Konrad & SebastianG. Kessing, 2008. "Time Consistency and Bureaucratic Budget Competition," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 118(525), pages 1-15, 01.
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  7. Giuseppe Marotta, 1997. "Does trade credit redistribution thwart monetary policy? Evidence from Italy," Applied Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 29(12), pages 1619-1629.
  8. Robin Boadway & Michael Keen, 1991. "Public Goods, Self-Selection and Optimal Income Taxation," Working Papers 828, Queen's University, Department of Economics.
  9. Marina Murat & Barbara Pistoresi, 2006. "Emigrants and immigrants networks in FDI," Department of Economics 0546, University of Modena and Reggio E., Faculty of Economics "Marco Biagi".
  10. Lars-Erik Borge & Egil Matsen, 2004. "Public Employment and Regional Risk Sharing," Scandinavian Journal of Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 106(2), pages 215-230, 06.
  11. Naito, Hisahiro, 1999. "Re-examination of uniform commodity taxes under a non-linear income tax system and its implication for production efficiency," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 71(2), pages 165-188, February.
  12. Alberto Alesina & Reza Baqir & William Easterly, 1998. "Redistributive Public Employment," NBER Working Papers 6746, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  13. Jukka Pirttilä & Matti Tuomala, 2005. "Public Versus Private Production Decisions: Redistribution and the Size of the Public Sector," FinanzArchiv: Public Finance Analysis, Mohr Siebeck, Tübingen, vol. 61(1), pages 120-, March.
  14. Rodrik, Dani, 2000. "What Drives Public Employment in Developing Countries?," Review of Development Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 4(3), pages 229-43, October.
  15. Wilson, John D., 1982. "The optimal public employment policy," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 17(2), pages 241-258, March.
  16. Michael Lundholm & Hans Wijkander, 2008. "Why Do Scandinavian Governments Employ So Many and the United States Government So Few?," FinanzArchiv: Public Finance Analysis, Mohr Siebeck, Tübingen, vol. 64(3), pages 364-379, September.
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