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Income Redistribution with Well-Informed Local Governments

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  • Horst Raff
  • John Wilson

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Abstract

This paper examines the problem of redistributing incomeacross jurisdictions and to mobile workers within jurisdictionswhen local governments have better information than the centralgovernment about local production conditions. Under the centralgovernment‘s optimal policy, the subsidies or taxes that localgovernments provide to mobile workers normally depend on whetherthese governments are net recipients or net donors of interjurisdictionalincome transfers. Moreover, the public-input decisions of somelocal governments are distorted. The analysis demonstrates thatit may not be desirable to harmonize social policies across jurisdictions,even when the beneficiaries are quite mobile. Copyright Kluwer Academic Publishers 1997

Suggested Citation

  • Horst Raff & John Wilson, 1997. "Income Redistribution with Well-Informed Local Governments," International Tax and Public Finance, Springer;International Institute of Public Finance, vol. 4(4), pages 407-427, November.
  • Handle: RePEc:kap:itaxpf:v:4:y:1997:i:4:p:407-427
    DOI: 10.1023/A:1008604813486
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Joseph E. Stiglitz, 1981. "Public Goods in Open Economies with Heterogeneous Individuals," NBER Working Papers 0802, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    2. Bucovetsky, S. & Marchand, M. & Pestieau, P., 1998. "Tax Competition and Revelation of Preferences for Public Expenditure," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 44(3), pages 367-390, November.
    3. Charles M. Tiebout, 1956. "A Pure Theory of Local Expenditures," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 64, pages 416-416.
    4. Helmuth Cremer & Maurice Marchand & Pierre Pestieau, 1996. "Interregional redistribution through tax surcharge," International Tax and Public Finance, Springer;International Institute of Public Finance, vol. 3(2), pages 157-173, May.
    5. Massimo Bordignon & Paolo Manasse & Guido Tabellini, 2001. "Optimal Regional Redistribution under Asymmetric Information," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 91(3), pages 709-723, June.
    6. Helmuth Cremer & Pierre Pestieau, 1997. "Income Redistribution in an Economic Union: The Trade Off Between Inter- and Intra-National Redistribution," International Tax and Public Finance, Springer;International Institute of Public Finance, vol. 4(3), pages 325-335, July.
    7. Pauly, Mark V., 1973. "Income redistribution as a local public good," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 2(1), pages 35-58, February.
    8. Wildasin, David E, 1991. "Income Redistribution in a Common Labor Market," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 81(4), pages 757-774, September.
    9. Berglas, Eitan, 1976. "Distribution of tastes and skills and the provision of local public goods," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 6(4), pages 409-423, November.
    10. Andreas Pfingsten & Andreas Wagener, 1997. "Centralized vs. Decentralized Redistribution: A Case for Interregional Transfer Mechanisms," International Tax and Public Finance, Springer;International Institute of Public Finance, vol. 4(4), pages 429-451, November.
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