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Local Public Funding of Higher Education When Skilled Labor is Imperfectly Mobile


  • Moshe Justman
  • Jacques-Francois Thisse


If higher education is publicly funded by local (sub-federal) jurisdictions, while skilled labor is heterogeneous in responding to wage differentials between jurisdictions, the spillovers that result give rise to a disparity between the centralized output-maximizing allocation of resources to higher education and decentralized equilibria. Generally, decentralization leads to under-provision, which can be offset by inter-jurisdictional subsidies based on gross migration flows. But the extent of the discrepancy depends on the local balance of political forces. Indeed, when the welfare of native-born emigrants is highly valued while new immigrants carry little political weight, over-provision in equilibrium is possible. Copyright Kluwer Academic Publishers 2000

Suggested Citation

  • Moshe Justman & Jacques-Francois Thisse, 2000. "Local Public Funding of Higher Education When Skilled Labor is Imperfectly Mobile," International Tax and Public Finance, Springer;International Institute of Public Finance, vol. 7(3), pages 247-258, May.
  • Handle: RePEc:kap:itaxpf:v:7:y:2000:i:3:p:247-258
    DOI: 10.1023/A:1008705528650

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Cremer, Helmuth & et al, 1996. "Mobility and Redistribution: A Survey," Public Finance = Finances publiques, , vol. 51(3), pages 325-352.
    2. repec:adr:anecst:y:1997:i:45:p:13 is not listed on IDEAS
    3. Gradstein, Mark & Justman, Moshe, 1995. "Competitive investment in higher education: The need for policy coordination," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 47(3-4), pages 393-400, March.
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    5. Mark Gradstein & Moshe Justman, 1996. "The political economy of mixed public and private schooling: A dynamic analysis," International Tax and Public Finance, Springer;International Institute of Public Finance, vol. 3(3), pages 297-310, July.
    6. Mansoorian, Arman & Myers, Gordon M., 1997. "On the consequences of government objectives for economies with mobile populations," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 63(2), pages 265-281, January.
    7. David E. Wildasin, 1994. "Income Redistribution and Migration," Canadian Journal of Economics, Canadian Economics Association, vol. 27(3), pages 637-656, August.
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    9. Wildasin, David E, 1991. "Income Redistribution in a Common Labor Market," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 81(4), pages 757-774, September.
    10. Caroline Minter Hoxby, 1996. "Are Efficiency and Equity in School Finance Substitutes or Complements?," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 10(4), pages 51-72, Fall.
    11. Shields, Gail M & Shields, Michael P, 1989. " The Emergence of Migration Theory and a Suggested New Direction," Journal of Economic Surveys, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 3(4), pages 277-304.
    12. Devereux, Michael B & Mansoorian, Arman, 1992. "International Fiscal Policy Coordination and Economic Growth," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 33(2), pages 249-268, May.
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    Cited by:

    1. Kemnitz, Alexander, 2005. "Educational Federalism and the Quality Effects of Tuition Fees," Discussion Papers 617, Institut fuer Volkswirtschaftslehre und Statistik, Abteilung fuer Volkswirtschaftslehre.
    2. Salmai Qari & Kai Konrad & Benny Geys, 2012. "Patriotism, taxation and international mobility," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 151(3), pages 695-717, June.
    3. Docquier, Frederic & Rapoport, Hillel, 2004. "Skilled migration: the perspective of developing countries," Policy Research Working Paper Series 3382, The World Bank.
    4. P. Giannoccolo, 2003. "Fiscal Competition and Brain Drain," Working Papers 462, Dipartimento Scienze Economiche, Universita' di Bologna.
    5. Rainald Borck & Silke Uebelmesser & Martin Wimbersky, 2015. "The Political Economics of Higher-Education Finance for Mobile Individuals," FinanzArchiv: Public Finance Analysis, Mohr Siebeck, Tübingen, vol. 71(1), pages 82-105, March.
    6. Marcel Gerard, 2010. "Financing Bologna Students' Mobility," Taxation Papers 26, Directorate General Taxation and Customs Union, European Commission.
    7. Delpierre, Matthieu & Verheyden, Bertrand, 2014. "Student and worker mobility under university and government competition," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 110(C), pages 26-41.
    8. Tim Krieger & Thomas Lange, 2010. "Education policy and tax competition with imperfect student and labor mobility," International Tax and Public Finance, Springer;International Institute of Public Finance, vol. 17(6), pages 587-606, December.
    9. Alexander Kemnitz, 2002. "On the Political Economy of Low Skilled Immigration and the Welfare State," International Tax and Public Finance, Springer;International Institute of Public Finance, vol. 9(4), pages 423-434, August.
    10. Volker Grossmann & David Stadelmann, 2012. "Does High-skilled Migration Affect Publicly Financed Investments?," Review of International Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 20(5), pages 944-959, November.
    11. Gabrielle Demange & Robert Fenge, 2010. "Competition in the quality of higher education: the impact of students' mobility," PSE Working Papers halshs-00564912, HAL.
    12. Andersson, Fredrik & Konrad, Kai A., 2003. "Human capital investment and globalization in extortionary states," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 87(7-8), pages 1539-1555, August.
    13. Silke Uebelmesser & Marcel Gérard, 2014. "Financing Higher Education when Students and Graduates are Internationally Mobile," Jena Economic Research Papers 2014-009, Friedrich-Schiller-University Jena.
    14. Marcel Gérard, 2008. "Financing Bologna, the Internationally Mobile Students in European Higher Education," CESifo Working Paper Series 2391, CESifo Group Munich.
    15. Tina Haussen & Silke Übelmesser, 2015. "No Place Like Home? Graduate Migration in Germany," CESifo Working Paper Series 5524, CESifo Group Munich.
    16. Poutvaara, Panu, 2011. "The expansion of higher education and time-consistent taxation," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 27(2), pages 257-267, June.
    17. Gabrielle Demange & Robert Fenge & Silke Uebelmesser, 2014. "Financing Higher Education in a Mobile World," Journal of Public Economic Theory, Association for Public Economic Theory, vol. 16(3), pages 343-371, June.
    18. Hübner, Malte, 2012. "The welfare effects of discriminating between in-state and out-of-state students," Regional Science and Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 42(1-2), pages 364-374.
    19. Justman, Moshe & Thisse, Jacques-Francois & van Ypersele, Tanguy, 2002. "Taking the bite out of fiscal competition," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 52(2), pages 294-315, September.
    20. Muhammad Baqir Abdullah & Mukaramah Harun & Mohd Razani Mohd Jali, 2017. "Employment Generated by Government Spending on Education," International Journal of Academic Research in Business and Social Sciences, Human Resource Management Academic Research Society, International Journal of Academic Research in Business and Social Sciences, vol. 7(2), pages 738-742, February.
    21. Robert R. Dunn, 2015. "Outmigration and State and Local Appropriations for Public Higher Education," The Review of Regional Studies, Southern Regional Science Association, vol. 45(3), pages 237-251, Winter.
    22. Grossmann, Volker & Stadelmann, David, 2011. "Does international mobility of high-skilled workers aggravate between-country inequality?," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 95(1), pages 88-94, May.
    23. Gabriel Felbermayr & Isabella Reczkowski, 2012. "International Student Mobility and High-Skilled Migration: The Evidence," ifo Working Paper Series 132, ifo Institute - Leibniz Institute for Economic Research at the University of Munich.


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