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Fiscal Policy, Human Capital, and Canada-US Labor Market Integration

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  • Wildasin, David

    ()
    (University of Kentucky)

Abstract

This paper analyzes some of the implications of North American labor market integration for fiscal policy. The economies of Canada and the US are both characterized by highly integrated internal markets for goods and services as well as for labor and capital, and subnational governments in both economies play an important role in the financing and provision of public goods and services, including higher education. Despite theoretical insights from traditional trade theory that suggest that “trade and migration are substitutes”, labor markets in both the US and Canada exhibit substantial and persistent interregional migration, with gross migration rates that greatly exceed net migration rates, especially for highly-educated workers. High gross migration rates are consistent with the hypothesis that education contributes to skill-specialization and worker heterogeneity, and that mobility provides a form of insurance for investment in risky human capital. Mobility also constrains the ability of competitive governments to engage in redistributive financing of human capital investment, and recent trends in both the US and Canada reveal a diminishing level of financial support for public-sector institutions by subnational governments. The implications of labor market integration for the efficiency of resource allocation, for income determination, and for fiscal competition are important for evaluations of tax and education policies both at the subnational and at the international levels.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA) in its series IZA Discussion Papers with number 889.

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Length: 57 pages
Date of creation: Oct 2003
Date of revision:
Publication status: published in: Richard G. Harris and Thomas Lemieux (eds.), Social and Labour Market Aspects of North American Linkages,Calgary, 2005, 489–536.
Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp889

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Keywords: mobility; fiscal policy; labor market integration; human capital;

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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. David E. Wildasin, 2006. "Global Competition for Mobile Resources: Implications for Equity, Efficiency and Political Economy," CESifo Economic Studies, CESifo, vol. 52(1), pages 61-110, March.
  2. James B. Davies & Stanley L. Winer, 2008. "Closing the 49th Parallel: An Unexplored Episode in Canadian Economic and Political History," University of Western Ontario, Economic Policy Research Institute Working Papers 20083, University of Western Ontario, Economic Policy Research Institute.
  3. David Wildasin, 2008. "Public Finance in an Era of Global Demographic Change: Fertility Busts, Migration Booms, and Public Policy," Working Papers 2008-02, University of Kentucky, Institute for Federalism and Intergovernmental Relations.

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