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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. 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.
    2. Alberto Alesina & Ignazio Angeloni & Federico Etro, 2001. "Institutional Rules for Federations," Harvard Institute of Economic Research Working Papers 1940, Harvard - Institute of Economic Research.
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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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