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The impact of the Barnett formula on the Scottish economy: endogenous population and variable formula proportions

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  • Linda Ferguson
  • David Learmonth
  • Peter G McGregor
  • J Kim Swales
  • Karen Turner

Abstract

The Barnett formula is the official basis upon which increments to public funds are allocated to the devolved regions of the UK for those parts of the budget that are administered locally. There is considerable controversy surrounding the implications of its strict application for the relevant regions. The existing literature focuses primarily on the equity of the spatial changes to government per capita expenditure that would accompany such a change. In contrast, in this paper we attempt to quantify the system-wide economic consequences—the real, relative resource squeeze that accompanies the financial relative squeeze—on one devolved region, Scotland. The analysis uses a multisectoral regional computable general equilibrium modelling approach. We highlight the importance of population endogeneity, particularly since the population proportions used in the formula are now regularly updated.

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  • Linda Ferguson & David Learmonth & Peter G McGregor & J Kim Swales & Karen Turner, 2007. "The impact of the Barnett formula on the Scottish economy: endogenous population and variable formula proportions," Environment and Planning A, Pion Ltd, London, vol. 39(12), pages 3008-3027, December.
  • Handle: RePEc:pio:envira:v:39:y:2007:i:12:p:3008-3027
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    1. Harrigan, Frank & McGregor, Peter G. & Dourmashkin, Neil & Perman, Roger & Swales, Kim & Yin, Ya Ping, 1991. "AMOS : A macro-micro model of Scotland," Economic Modelling, Elsevier, vol. 8(4), pages 424-479, October.
    2. Layard, Richard & Nickell, Stephen & Jackman, Richard, 2005. "Unemployment: Macroeconomic Performance and the Labour Market," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, number 9780199279173.
    3. Greenwood, Michael J, et al, 1991. "Migration, Regional Equilibrium, and the Estimation of Compensating Differentials," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 81(5), pages 1382-1390, December.
    4. Iain McLean & Alistair McMillan, 2003. "The Distribution of Public Expenditure across the UK Regions," Fiscal Studies, Institute for Fiscal Studies, vol. 24(1), pages 45-71, March.
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    6. Holden, Darryl R & Swales, J K, 1995. "The Additionality, Displacement and Substitution Effects of Factor Subsidies," Scottish Journal of Political Economy, Scottish Economic Society, vol. 42(2), pages 113-126, May.
    7. Treyz, George I, et al, 1993. "The Dynamics of U.S. Internal Migration," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 75(2), pages 209-214, May.
    8. Peter Mcgregor & Kim Swales, 2005. "Economics of devolution/decentralization in the UK: Some questions and answers," Regional Studies, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 39(4), pages 477-494.
    9. Blanchflower, David G & Oswald, Andrew J, 1994. "Estimating a Wage Curve for Britain: 1973-90," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 104(426), pages 1025-1043, September.
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    Cited by:

    1. Hermannsson, Kristinn & Lisenkova, Katerina & McGregor, Peter G. & Swales, J. Kim, 2010. "Policy Scepticism and the Impact of Northern Irish Higher Education Institutions (HEIs) on their Host Region: Accounting for Regional Budget Constraints," SIRE Discussion Papers 2010-78, Scottish Institute for Research in Economics (SIRE).
    2. Giesecke, James A. & Madden, John R., 2013. "Regional Computable General Equilibrium Modeling," Handbook of Computable General Equilibrium Modeling, Elsevier.
    3. Soo Jung Ha & Geoffrey Hewings & Karen Turner, 2008. "Econometric estimation of Armington import elasticities for regional CGE models of the Chicago and Illinois economies," Working Papers 0810, University of Strathclyde Business School, Department of Economics.
    4. Lisenkova, Katerina & McGregor, Peter G. & Swales, J. Kim, 2010. "Policy Scepticism and the Impact of Welsh Higher Education Institutions (HEIs) on their Host Region: Accounting for Regional Budget Constraints," SIRE Discussion Papers 2010-72, Scottish Institute for Research in Economics (SIRE).
    5. Kristinn Hermannsson & Katerina Lisenkova & Peter G. McGregor & J. Kim Swales, 2014. "'Policy Scepticism' and the Impact of Scottish Higher Education Institutions (HEIs) on their Host Region: Accounting for Regional Budget Constraints under Devolution," Regional Studies, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 48(2), pages 400-417, February.
    6. Hermannsson, Kristinn & Lisenkova, Katerina & McGregor, Peter G. & Swales, J. Kim, 2010. "Policy Scepticism and the Impact of London-based Higher Education Institutions (HEIs) on the economy of England: Accounting for Alternative Uses of Public Expenditure," SIRE Discussion Papers 2010-97, Scottish Institute for Research in Economics (SIRE).
    7. Ha, Soo Jung & Hewings, Geoffrey & McGregor, Peter G & Swales, J Kim & Turner, Karen, 2010. "Econometric estimation of Armington import elasticities and their system-wide impact in a regional CGE model of the Illinois economy," Stirling Economics Discussion Papers 2010-19, University of Stirling, Division of Economics.
    8. Kristinn Hermannsson & Katerina Lisenkova & Peter G McGregor & J Kim Swales, 2011. "Regional Impact Analyses and the Appropriate Treatment of Regional Budget Constraints under Devolution: An Application to the Impact of Scottish HEIs," ERSA conference papers ersa10p1595, European Regional Science Association.

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