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International Unions

Author

Listed:
  • Alberto Alesina
  • Ignazio Angeloni
  • Federico Etro

Abstract

We model an international union as a group of countries deciding to centralize the provision of public goods, or policies, that generate externalities across union members. The trade-off between the benefits of coordination and the loss of independent policymaking endogenously determines size, composition, and scope of the union. Policy uniformity reduces the size of the union, may block the entry of new members, and induces excessive centralization. We study flexible rules with nonuniform policies that reduce these inefficiencies, focusing particularly on arrangements that are relevant to the ongoing debate on the institutional structure of the European Union.

Suggested Citation

  • Alberto Alesina & Ignazio Angeloni & Federico Etro, 2005. "International Unions," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 95(3), pages 602-615, June.
  • Handle: RePEc:aea:aecrev:v:95:y:2005:i:3:p:602-615
    Note: DOI: 10.1257/0002828054201279
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Alberto Alesina & Roberto Perotti, 2004. "The European Union: A Politically Incorrect View," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 18(4), pages 27-48, Fall.
    2. Alesina, Alberto & Wacziarg, Romain, 1999. "Is Europe going too far?," Carnegie-Rochester Conference Series on Public Policy, Elsevier, vol. 51(1), pages 1-42, December.
    3. Besley, Timothy & Coate, Stephen, 2003. "Centralized versus decentralized provision of local public goods: a political economy approach," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 87(12), pages 2611-2637, December.
    4. Alberto Alesina & Ignazio Angeloni & Ludger Schuknecht, 2005. "What does the European Union do?," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 123(3), pages 275-319, June.
    5. Alberto Alesina & Ignazio Angeloni & Federico Etro, 2001. "Institutional Rules for Federations," Harvard Institute of Economic Research Working Papers 1940, Harvard - Institute of Economic Research.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

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    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • D78 - Microeconomics - - Analysis of Collective Decision-Making - - - Positive Analysis of Policy Formulation and Implementation
    • H11 - Public Economics - - Structure and Scope of Government - - - Structure and Scope of Government
    • H41 - Public Economics - - Publicly Provided Goods - - - Public Goods

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