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Bidding for Firms with Unknown Characteristics

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  • Johannes Becker
  • Andrea Schneider

Abstract

When a region successfully attracts a firm by offering subsidies, the firm often commits itself to performance targets in terms of employment. In this paper, we interpret these firm‐specific targets as a consequence of incomplete information. We analyze a model of two regions that compete for a firm, assuming that the firm's productivity is ex ante unknown. We show that performance targets often induce overemployment in high‐productivity firms, and that tax credits are often superior to lump‐sum payments. Moreover, when regions differ in wage rates, the low‐wage region wins the bid and has a higher surplus than under complete information. Finally, we show that, under incomplete information, bidding might not lead to efficient firm location.

Suggested Citation

  • Johannes Becker & Andrea Schneider, 2019. "Bidding for Firms with Unknown Characteristics," Scandinavian Journal of Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 121(3), pages 1222-1243, July.
  • Handle: RePEc:bla:scandj:v:121:y:2019:i:3:p:1222-1243
    DOI: 10.1111/sjoe.12309
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    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • H25 - Public Economics - - Taxation, Subsidies, and Revenue - - - Business Taxes and Subsidies
    • H32 - Public Economics - - Fiscal Policies and Behavior of Economic Agents - - - Firm
    • H87 - Public Economics - - Miscellaneous Issues - - - International Fiscal Issues; International Public Goods

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