IDEAS home Printed from
   My bibliography  Save this article

Labor-Market Integration, Investment in Risky Human Capital, and Fiscal Competition


  • David E. Wildasin


This paper presents a general-equilibrium model where human capital investment increases specialization and exposes skilled workers to region-specific earnings risk Interjurisdictional mobility of skilled labor mitigates these risks; state-contingent migration of skilled labor also improves efficiency. With perfect capital markets, labor-market integration raises welfare and reduces ex post earnings inequality. If instead human capital investment can only be financed through local taxes, labor-market integration leads to interjurisdictional fiscal competition, shifting the burden of taxation to low-skilled immobile workers. Decentralized public provision of human capital investment creates earnings inequalities and is inefficient.

Suggested Citation

  • David E. Wildasin, 2000. "Labor-Market Integration, Investment in Risky Human Capital, and Fiscal Competition," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 90(1), pages 73-95, March.
  • Handle: RePEc:aea:aecrev:v:90:y:2000:i:1:p:73-95 Note: DOI: 10.1257/aer.90.1.73

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL:
    Download Restriction: Access to full text is restricted to AEA members and institutional subscribers.

    As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to search for a different version of it.

    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Philippe Michel & Anne Perrot & Jacques-François Thisse, 1996. "Interregional equilibrium with heterogeneous labor," Journal of Population Economics, Springer;European Society for Population Economics, vol. 9(1), pages 95-113, February.
    2. Romer, Paul M, 1986. "Increasing Returns and Long-run Growth," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 94(5), pages 1002-1037, October.
    3. Marcus Berliant & Yves Zenou, 2014. "Labor Differentiation and Agglomeration in General Equilibrium," International Regional Science Review, , vol. 37(1), pages 36-65, January.
    4. Nechyba, Thomas J, 1997. "Local Property and State Income Taxes: The Role of Interjurisdictional Competition and Collusion," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 105(2), pages 351-384, April.
    5. Cremer, Helmuth & et al, 1996. "Mobility and Redistribution: A Survey," Public Finance = Finances publiques, , vol. 51(3), pages 325-352.
    6. Douglass C. North, 1994. "Institutional Competition," Economic History 9411001, EconWPA.
    7. Williams, Joseph T, 1978. "Risk, Human Capital, and the Investor's Portfolio," The Journal of Business, University of Chicago Press, vol. 51(1), pages 65-89, January.
    8. Willis, Robert J., 1987. "Wage determinants: A survey and reinterpretation of human capital earnings functions," Handbook of Labor Economics,in: O. Ashenfelter & R. Layard (ed.), Handbook of Labor Economics, edition 1, volume 1, chapter 10, pages 525-602 Elsevier.
    9. Wildasin, David E, 1995. " Factor Mobility, Risk and Redistribution in the Welfare State," Scandinavian Journal of Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 97(4), pages 527-546, December.
    10. Zuliu Hu, 1993. "Risk Taking and Optimal Taxation in the Presence of Nontradable Human Capital," IMF Staff Papers, Palgrave Macmillan, vol. 40(3), pages 622-637, September.
    11. Paul Krugman, 1992. "Geography and Trade," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 0262610868, July.
    12. Robert H. Topel & Michael P. Ward, 1992. "Job Mobility and the Careers of Young Men," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 107(2), pages 439-479.
    13. Eaton, Jonathan & Rosen, Harvey S., 1980. "Labor supply, uncertainty, and efficient taxation," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 14(3), pages 365-374, December.
    14. Deaton, Angus, 1991. "Saving and Liquidity Constraints," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 59(5), pages 1221-1248, September.
    15. Stiglitz, Joseph E., 1982. "Utilitarianism and horizontal equity : The case for random taxation," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 18(1), pages 1-33, June.
    16. Epple, Dennis & Romer, Thomas, 1991. "Mobility and Redistribution," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 99(4), pages 828-858, August.
    17. Topel, Robert H, 1991. "Specific Capital, Mobility, and Wages: Wages Rise with Job Seniority," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 99(1), pages 145-176, February.
    18. George J. Stigler, 1951. "The Division of Labor is Limited by the Extent of the Market," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 59, pages 185-185.
    19. Adam B. Jaffe & Manuel Trajtenberg & Rebecca Henderson, 1993. "Geographic Localization of Knowledge Spillovers as Evidenced by Patent Citations," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 108(3), pages 577-598.
    20. repec:mes:challe:v:19:y:1976:i:3:p:34-38 is not listed on IDEAS
    21. Epple, Dennis & Romano, Richard E, 1998. "Competition between Private and Public Schools, Vouchers, and Peer-Group Effects," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 88(1), pages 33-62, March.
    22. Juhn, Chinhui & Murphy, Kevin M & Pierce, Brooks, 1993. "Wage Inequality and the Rise in Returns to Skill," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 101(3), pages 410-442, June.
    23. Wildasin, David E. & Wilson, John Douglas, 1996. "Imperfect mobility and local government behaviour in an overlapping-generations model," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 60(2), pages 177-198, May.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • R23 - Urban, Rural, Regional, Real Estate, and Transportation Economics - - Household Analysis - - - Regional Migration; Regional Labor Markets; Population
    • J24 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Human Capital; Skills; Occupational Choice; Labor Productivity
    • J31 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Wages, Compensation, and Labor Costs - - - Wage Level and Structure; Wage Differentials
    • J61 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Mobility, Unemployment, Vacancies, and Immigrant Workers - - - Geographic Labor Mobility; Immigrant Workers


    Access and download statistics


    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:aea:aecrev:v:90:y:2000:i:1:p:73-95. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Jane Voros) or (Michael P. Albert). General contact details of provider: .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If CitEc recognized a reference but did not link an item in RePEc to it, you can help with this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.