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Locational Competition and Agglomeration: The Role of Government Spending

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Listed:
  • Steven Brakman
  • Harry Garretsen
  • Charles van Marrewijk

Abstract

With the completion of EMU, tax competition and, more in general, locational competition is high on the EU policy agenda. In contrast to the standard neo-classical reasoning, recent advances in the theory of trade and location have shown that tax competition does not necessarily lead to a ‘race to the bottom’. In these recent discussions the relevance of government spending as an instrument for locational competition is unduly neglected. We therefore introduce a more elaborate government sector in a geographical economics model by analyzing government spending and government production. By changing the relative size, direction or efficiency of the production of public goods, our simulation results show that governments can change the equilibrium between agglomerating and spreading forces. In addition, we show analytically that the introduction of public goods fosters agglomeration. Ultimately, our paper shows that by restricting attention to taxes, one ignores that government spending also determines the attractiveness of a country as a location for the mobile factors of production.

Suggested Citation

  • Steven Brakman & Harry Garretsen & Charles van Marrewijk, 2002. "Locational Competition and Agglomeration: The Role of Government Spending," CESifo Working Paper Series 775, CESifo Group Munich.
  • Handle: RePEc:ces:ceswps:_775
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Fredrik Andersson & Rikard Forslid, 2003. "Tax Competition and Economic Geography," Journal of Public Economic Theory, Association for Public Economic Theory, vol. 5(2), pages 279-303, April.
    2. Sinn, Hans-Werner, 1990. "Tax harmonization and tax competition in Europe," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 34(2-3), pages 489-504, May.
    3. Ottaviano, Gianmarco I. P., 2001. "Monopolistic competition, trade, and endogenous spatial fluctuations," Regional Science and Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 31(1), pages 51-77, February.
    4. J.Peter Neary, 2001. "Of Hype and Hyperbolas: Introducing the New Economic Geography," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 39(2), pages 536-561, June.
    5. Krugman, Paul, 1991. "Increasing Returns and Economic Geography," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 99(3), pages 483-499, June.
    6. Baldwin, Richard E. & Krugman, Paul, 2004. "Agglomeration, integration and tax harmonisation," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 48(1), pages 1-23, February.
    7. Hans-Werner Sinn, 2004. "The New Systems Competition," Perspektiven der Wirtschaftspolitik, Verein für Socialpolitik, vol. 5(1), pages 23-38, February.
    8. Forslid, Rikard, 1999. "Agglomeration with Human and Physical Capital: an Analytically Solvable Case," CEPR Discussion Papers 2102, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • F10 - International Economics - - Trade - - - General
    • F15 - International Economics - - Trade - - - Economic Integration
    • H10 - Public Economics - - Structure and Scope of Government - - - General

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