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On enhanced cooperation

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  • Bordignon, Massimo
  • Brusco, Sandro

Abstract

Should a subset of member states of a federation be allowed to form a sub-union on some policy issue? When centralization is not politically feasible, allowing an enhanced cooperation agreement among a subset of countries permits the latter to gain benefits which would otherwise be lost. However, if in the future the excluded countries also want to join, the fact that a sub-union has been formed in the past may change the status quo to the advantage of the first comers. We show that as long as countries can commit to harmonize at a policy which also takes into account the utility of the excluded country, sub-union formation may be optimal. The relative advantage of a sub-union towards centralization increases when transfers are costly. On the other hand, if commitment is not possible then excluded countries may be penalized. We use these results to discuss of the newly introduced rules for enhanced cooperation agreements in the European Union, suggesting that they might lead to increased centralization.
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Suggested Citation

  • Bordignon, Massimo & Brusco, Sandro, 2006. "On enhanced cooperation," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 90(10-11), pages 2063-2090, November.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:pubeco:v:90:y:2006:i:10-11:p:2063-2090
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    1. Daron Acemoglu & Georgy Egorov & Konstantin Sonin, 2012. "Dynamics and Stability of Constitutions, Coalitions, and Clubs," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 102(4), pages 1446-1476, June.
    2. Hendrik Vrijburg & Ruud A. de Mooij, 2010. "Enhanced Coorporation in an asymmetric model of Tax Competition," Working Papers 1002, Oxford University Centre for Business Taxation.
    3. Marcel Gérard, 2006. "Reforming the taxation of multijurisdictional enterprises in Europe: a tentative appraisal," European Economy - Economic Papers 2008 - 2015 265, Directorate General Economic and Financial Affairs (DG ECFIN), European Commission.
    4. Leon Bettendorf & Albert Van Der Horst & Ruud A. De Mooij & Hendrik Vrijburg, 2010. "Corporate Tax Consolidation and Enhanced Cooperation in the European Union," Fiscal Studies, Institute for Fiscal Studies, vol. 31(4), pages 453-479, December.
    5. Boggio, Margherita, 2011. "From Reluctant Privatization to Municipal Capitalism: an Overview on Ownership, Political Connections and Decentralization," MPRA Paper 46232, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    6. Charles McLure Jr., 2008. "Harmonizing Corporate Income Taxes in the US and the EU: Legislative, Judicial, Soft Law and Cooperative Approaches," CESifo Forum, Ifo Institute - Leibniz Institute for Economic Research at the University of Munich, vol. 9(2), pages 46-52, July.
    7. Marceau, Nicolas, 2008. "La concurrence entre gouvernements est-elle bénéfique?," L'Actualité Economique, Société Canadienne de Science Economique, vol. 84(4), pages 365-390, Décembre.
    8. Libman, Alexander Mikhailovich, 2009. "Эндогенные Границы И Распределение Власти В Федерациях И Международных Сообществах
      [ENDOGENOUS BOUNDARIES AND DISTRIBUTION OF POWER In the Federation]
      ," MPRA Paper 16473, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    9. Marcel Gerard, 2006. "Reforming the taxation of Multijurisdictional Enterprises in Europe, "Coopetition" in a Bottom-up Federation," Working Papers 2006-10, University of Kentucky, Institute for Federalism and Intergovernmental Relations.
    10. Nikitas Konstantinidis, 2007. "Gradualism and Uncertainty in International Union Formation," CESifo Working Paper Series 2076, CESifo Group Munich.
    11. Boadway, Robin & Tremblay, Jean-François, 2012. "Reassessment of the Tiebout model," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 96(11), pages 1063-1078.
    12. Charles B. Blankart & Gerrit B. Koester, 2009. "Refocusing the EU Budget ? An Institutional View," CREMA Working Paper Series 2009-16, Center for Research in Economics, Management and the Arts (CREMA).
    13. Konstantinidis, Nikitas, 2015. "On the political geometry of international unions: A coalition-theoretic approach," Research in Economics, Elsevier, vol. 69(3), pages 453-473.
    14. Etro, Federico, 2015. "Research in economics and political economy," Research in Economics, Elsevier, vol. 69(3), pages 261-264.
    15. Charles E. McLure, Jr., 2008. "Harmonizing Corporate Income Taxes in the European Community: Rationale and Implications," NBER Chapters,in: Tax Policy and the Economy, Volume 22, pages 151-195 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.

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