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Enlargement versus Deepening: The Trade-off Facing Economic Unions

  • Oliver Lorz
  • Gerald Willmann

This paper analyzes the relationship between the size of an economic union and the degree of policy centralization. We consider a political economy setting in which elected representatives bargain about the degree of centralization within the union. In our model strategic delegation affects the identity of the representatives and hence the equilibrium policy outcome. We show that the relationship between the size of the union and centralization may be non-monotonic: Up to a certain size of the union enlargement leads to deeper integration,whereas beyond that size further enlargement implies less centralization. We also show that freezing the level of centralization or allowing an associated membership can mitigate the trade-off.

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File URL: http://www.cesifo-group.de/portal/page/portal/DocBase_Content/WP/WP-CESifo_Working_Papers/wp-cesifo-2008/wp-cesifo-2008-11/cesifo1_wp2455.pdf
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Paper provided by CESifo Group Munich in its series CESifo Working Paper Series with number 2455.

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Date of creation: 2008
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Handle: RePEc:ces:ceswps:_2455
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  1. Redoano, Michela & Scharf, Kimberly A., 2004. "The political economy of policy centralization: direct versus representative democracy," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 88(3-4), pages 799-817, March.
  2. Robert A.J. Dur & Hein J. Roelfsema, 2002. "Why does Centralisation fail to internalise Policy Externalities?," Tinbergen Institute Discussion Papers 02-056/3, Tinbergen Institute, revised 11 Nov 2003.
  3. Lorz, Jens Oliver & Willmann, Gerald, 2004. "On the Endogenous Allocation of Decision Powers in Federal Structures," Center for European, Governance and Economic Development Research Discussion Papers 25, University of Goettingen, Department of Economics.
  4. Michele Ruta, 2005. "Economic Theories of Political (Dis)integration," Journal of Economic Surveys, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 19(1), pages 1-21, 02.
  5. Wilson, John Douglas & Janeba, Eckhard, 2005. "Decentralization and international tax competition," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 89(7), pages 1211-1229, July.
  6. Gian Maria Milesi-Ferretti & Roberto Perotti & Massimo Rostagno, 2002. "Electoral Systems And Public Spending," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 117(2), pages 609-657, May.
  7. Persson, Torsten & Tabellini, Guido, 1992. "The Politics of 1992: Fiscal Policy and European Integration," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 59(4), pages 689-701, October.
  8. Christina Schneider, 2007. "Enlargement processes and distributional conflicts: The politics of discriminatory membership in the European Union," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 132(1), pages 85-102, July.
  9. Giovanni Facchini & Oliver Lorz & Gerald Willmann, 2005. "Asylum Seekers in Europe: The Warm Glow of a Hot Potato," Development Working Papers 205, Centro Studi Luca d\'Agliano, University of Milano.
  10. Anders Olofsgârd, 2004. "Secessions and Political Extremism: Why Regional Referenda Do Not Solve the Problem," Journal of the European Economic Association, MIT Press, vol. 2(5), pages 805-832, 09.
  11. Wolfgang Buchholz & Alexander Haupt & Wolfgang Peters, 2005. "International Environmental Agreements and Strategic Voting," Scandinavian Journal of Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 107(1), pages 175-195, 03.
  12. Guillaume Cheikbossian, 2000. "Federalism, distributive politics and representative democracy," Economics of Governance, Springer, vol. 1(2), pages 105-122, 07.
  13. Etro, Federico & Ageloni, Ignazio & Alesina, Alberto, 2005. "International Unions," Scholarly Articles 4553008, Harvard University Department of Economics.
  14. John Wilson & Eckhard Janeba, 2003. "Decentralization and International Tax Competition," CESifo Working Paper Series 854, CESifo Group Munich.
  15. Michela Redoano & Kimberley Ann Scharf, 2001. "The Political Economy of Policy Centralization: Direct Versus Representative Democracy," CESifo Working Paper Series 602, CESifo Group Munich.
  16. Besley, Timothy & Coate, Stephen, 2003. "Centralized versus decentralized provision of local public goods: a political economy approach," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 87(12), pages 2611-2637, December.
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