IDEAS home Printed from
   My bibliography  Save this paper

Globalisation squeezes the public sector - is it so obvious?


  • Torben M. Andersen
  • Allan Sørensen

    () (School of Economics and Management, University of Aarhus, Denmark)


It is widely perceived that globalization squeezes public sector activities by making taxation more costly. This is attributed to increased factor mobility and to a more elastic labour demand due to improved scope for relocation of production and thus employment across countries. We argue that this consensus view overlooks that gains from trade unambiguously work to lower the marginal costs of public funds, and moreover that globalization via increased trade in intermediaries may actually lower the labour demand elasticity.

Suggested Citation

  • Torben M. Andersen & Allan Sørensen, 2008. "Globalisation squeezes the public sector - is it so obvious?," Economics Working Papers 2008-08, Department of Economics and Business Economics, Aarhus University.
  • Handle: RePEc:aah:aarhec:2008-08

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL:
    Download Restriction: no

    Other versions of this item:

    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Tanzi,Vito & Schuknecht,Ludger, 2000. "Public Spending in the 20th Century," Cambridge Books, Cambridge University Press, number 9780521662918, March.
    2. Andrew B. Bernard & Jonathan Eaton & J. Bradford Jensen & Samuel Kortum, 2003. "Plants and Productivity in International Trade," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 93(4), pages 1268-1290, September.
    3. Skaksen, Mette Yde & Sorensen, Jan Rose, 2001. "Should trade unions appreciate foreign direct investment," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 55(2), pages 379-390, December.
    4. Molana, Hassan & Montagna, Catia, 2006. "Aggregate scale economies, market integration, and optimal welfare state policy," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 69(2), pages 321-340, July.
    5. Jörn Kleinert, 2003. "Growing Trade in Intermediate Goods: Outsourcing, Global Sourcing, or Increasing Importance of MNE Networks?," Review of International Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 11(3), pages 464-482, August.
    6. Hijzen, Alexander & Swaim, Paul, 2010. "Offshoring, labour market institutions and the elasticity of labour demand," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 54(8), pages 1016-1034, November.
    7. Mine Zeynep Senses, 2006. "The Effects of Outsourcing on the Elasticity of Labor Demand," Working Papers 06-07, Center for Economic Studies, U.S. Census Bureau.
    8. Arvind Panagariya, 2003. "Trade Openness: Consequences for the Elasticity of Demand for Labor and Wage Outcomes," International Trade 0308007, EconWPA.
    9. Marc J. Melitz, 2003. "The Impact of Trade on Intra-Industry Reallocations and Aggregate Industry Productivity," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 71(6), pages 1695-1725, November.
    10. Andersen, Torben M, 2003. "Welfare Policies, Labour Taxation and International Integration," International Tax and Public Finance, Springer;International Institute of Public Finance, vol. 10(1), pages 43-62, January.
    11. van der ploeg, F., 1987. "Coordination of optimal taxation in a two-country equilibrium model," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 24(3), pages 279-285.
    12. Chen, Hogan & Kondratowicz, Matthew & Yi, Kei-Mu, 2005. "Vertical specialization and three facts about U.S. international trade," The North American Journal of Economics and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 16(1), pages 35-59, March.
    13. Molana, Hassan & Montagna, Catia, 2007. "Expansionary effects of the welfare state in a small open economy," The North American Journal of Economics and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 18(3), pages 231-246, December.
    14. Assaf Razin & Efraim Sadka, 2005. "The Decline of the Welfare State: Demography and Globalization," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 0262182440, July.
    15. Torben Andersen & Jan Skaksen, 2007. "Labour Demand, Wage Mark-ups and Product Market Integration," Journal of Economics, Springer, vol. 92(2), pages 103-135, October.
    16. Slaughter, Matthew J., 2001. "International trade and labor-demand elasticities," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 54(1), pages 27-56, June.
    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. Torben M. Andersen & Allan Sørensen, 2013. "Product market integration, tax distortions and public sector size," Economics Working Papers 2013-28, Department of Economics and Business Economics, Aarhus University.
    2. Chen, Yu-Fu & Görg, Holger & Görlich, Dennis & Molana, Hassan & Montagna, Catia & Temouri, Yama, 2014. "Globalisation and the Future of the Welfare State," IZA Policy Papers 81, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).

    More about this item


    Globalization; marginal costs of public funds; labour taxation;

    JEL classification:

    • F15 - International Economics - - Trade - - - Economic Integration
    • F4 - International Economics - - Macroeconomic Aspects of International Trade and Finance
    • H20 - Public Economics - - Taxation, Subsidies, and Revenue - - - General
    • H40 - Public Economics - - Publicly Provided Goods - - - General

    NEP fields

    This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:


    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:aah:aarhec:2008-08. 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: (). 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.