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Cross-border externalities and cooperation among representative democracies

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  • Loeper, Antoine

Abstract

This paper analyzes the provision of public goods with cross-border externalities by representative democracies. The level of provision of each country is decided by a policy maker elected by majority rule at the country level. We compare the case in which policy makers set their policies noncooperatively with the case in which they set their policies through Coasian cooperation. Cooperation induces policy makers to internalize cross-border externalities, but it also induces strategic voters to elect a policy maker who cares less about the public good to reduce their public good contribution. The former effect increases public good provision while the latter reduces it. We show that once voters' incentives are taken into account, whether cooperation is beneficial depends neither on voters' preferences, nor on the magnitude of spillovers, nor on the size, bargaining power, or efficiency of each country. Instead, it depends only on the curvature of the demand for the public good: cooperation increases (decreases) public good provision when the demand function is more (less) convex than the unit elastic demand function. Hence, the desirability of international cooperation depends mostly on the type of public good considered.

Suggested Citation

  • Loeper, Antoine, 2017. "Cross-border externalities and cooperation among representative democracies," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 91(C), pages 180-208.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:eecrev:v:91:y:2017:i:c:p:180-208
    DOI: 10.1016/j.euroecorev.2016.10.003
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    Cited by:

    1. Wolfgang Habla & Ralph Winkler, 2017. "Strategic Delegation and International Permit Markets: Why Linking May Fail," CESifo Working Paper Series 6515, CESifo Group Munich.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    International Cooperation; Bargaining; Federalism; Externalities; Public good; Election; Strategic delegation;

    JEL classification:

    • D62 - Microeconomics - - Welfare Economics - - - Externalities
    • D72 - Microeconomics - - Analysis of Collective Decision-Making - - - Political Processes: Rent-seeking, Lobbying, Elections, Legislatures, and Voting Behavior
    • F55 - International Economics - - International Relations, National Security, and International Political Economy - - - International Institutional Arrangements
    • H41 - Public Economics - - Publicly Provided Goods - - - Public Goods
    • H77 - Public Economics - - State and Local Government; Intergovernmental Relations - - - Intergovernmental Relations; Federalism

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