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Optimal Fiscal Policy When Migration is Feasible

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  • Filippo Occhino

    ()
    (Rutgers University)

Abstract

This paper investigates how the feasibility of migration affects governments' optimal fiscal policies. We assume that households migrate towards economies where their welfare is higher, governments choose taxes and public expenditures to maximize a weighted sum of the households' welfare, welfare is increasing in public expenditures, and only distortionary labor income taxes are available. In isolated economies, the optimal fiscal policy implies that some households are net fiscal contributors, while other households are net fiscal beneficiaries. When households can migrate, however, governments compete for the households which are net fiscal contributors, and modify the fiscal policy in their favor, lowering their taxes and net fiscal contribution, and increasing their welfare. The magnitude of the effect increases with the sensitivity of migration to welfare. In the limiting case of free mobility, all households are zero net fiscal contributors.

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Paper provided by Rutgers University, Department of Economics in its series Departmental Working Papers with number 200507.

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Date of creation: 17 Aug 2005
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Handle: RePEc:rut:rutres:200507

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Keywords: Optimal fiscal policy; Ramsey equilibrium; Migration; Fiscal competition; Mobility;

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  1. Kjetil Storesletten, 2000. "Sustaining Fiscal Policy through Immigration," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 108(2), pages 300-323, April.
  2. Honkapohja ,S. & Turunen-Red, A., 2004. "Gains and Losses from Tax Competition with Migration," Cambridge Working Papers in Economics 0416, Faculty of Economics, University of Cambridge.
  3. Assaf Razin & Effraim Sadka & Phillip Swagel, 1998. "Tax Burden and Migration: A Political Economy Theory and Evidence," NBER Working Papers 6734, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  4. Wilson, John Douglas, 1999. "Theories of Tax Competition," National Tax Journal, National Tax Association, vol. 52(n. 2), pages 269-304, June.
  5. Lucas, Robert Jr. & Stokey, Nancy L., 1983. "Optimal fiscal and monetary policy in an economy without capital," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 12(1), pages 55-93.
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