IDEAS home Printed from
   My bibliography  Save this article

Does Mobility Undermine Income Redistribution? A Political-Support Approach to Redistribution in a Federation


  • Kangoh Lee


This paper considers a positive model of income redistribution with mobile individuals in a federal system. The politician of a jurisdiction makes redistributive policy to maximize political support from poor welfare recipients and rich taxpayers. If only the poor move, a politician redistributes more than without mobility in an attempt to gain support from the poor. If the rich also move, an increase in the redistributive tax imposed on the rich drives out the rich, decreasing the rich's political opposition. The exodus of the rich, however, may decrease tax revenues available for income redistribution, decreasing the poor's political support. The mobility thus may increase or decrease income redistribution.

Suggested Citation

  • Kangoh Lee, 2007. "Does Mobility Undermine Income Redistribution? A Political-Support Approach to Redistribution in a Federation," FinanzArchiv: Public Finance Analysis, Mohr Siebeck, Tübingen, vol. 63(2), pages 186-210, June.
  • Handle: RePEc:mhr:finarc:urn:sici:0015-2218(200706)63:2_186:dmuira_2.0.tx_2-q
    DOI: 10.1628/001522107X220071

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL:
    Download Restriction: Fulltext access is included for subscribers to the printed version.

    As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to search for a different version of it.

    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Kira Boerner & Silke Uebelmesser, 2007. "Migration and the welfare state: The economic power of the non-voter?," International Tax and Public Finance, Springer;International Institute of Public Finance, vol. 14(1), pages 93-111, February.
    2. Brown, Charles C. & Oates, Wallace E., 1987. "Assistance to the poor in a federal system," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 32(3), pages 307-330, April.
    3. James R. Baumgardner, 1993. "Tests of Median Voter and Political Support Maximization Models: the Case of Federal/State Welfare Programs," Public Finance Review, , vol. 21(1), pages 48-83, January.
    4. Kathleen Day & Stanley Winer, 2006. "Policy-induced internal migration: An empirical investigation of the Canadian case," International Tax and Public Finance, Springer;International Institute of Public Finance, vol. 13(5), pages 535-564, September.
    5. Blank, Rebecca M., 1988. "The effect of welfare and wage levels on the location decisions of female-headed households," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 24(2), pages 186-211, September.
    6. Borjas, George J, 1999. "Immigration and Welfare Magnets," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 17(4), pages 607-637, October.
    7. Gary S. Becker, 1983. "A Theory of Competition Among Pressure Groups for Political Influence," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 98(3), pages 371-400.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)


    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.

    Cited by:

    1. Sigrid Roehrs & David Stadelmann, 2010. "Mobility and local income redistribution," Working Papers 2010/4, Institut d'Economia de Barcelona (IEB).
    2. Sigrid Röhrs & David Stadelmann, 2014. "Homeownership, Mobility, And Local Income Redistribution," Journal of Public Economic Theory, Association for Public Economic Theory, vol. 16(4), pages 569-605, August.

    More about this item


    redistribution; mobility; political support;

    JEL classification:

    • D78 - Microeconomics - - Analysis of Collective Decision-Making - - - Positive Analysis of Policy Formulation and Implementation
    • H71 - Public Economics - - State and Local Government; Intergovernmental Relations - - - State and Local Taxation, Subsidies, and Revenue
    • H77 - Public Economics - - State and Local Government; Intergovernmental Relations - - - Intergovernmental Relations; Federalism


    Access and download statistics


    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:mhr:finarc:urn:sici:0015-2218(200706)63:2_186:dmuira_2.0.tx_2-q. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Thomas Wolpert). General contact details of provider: .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If CitEc recognized a reference but did not link an item in RePEc to it, you can help with this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.