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Locational competition and agglomeration: the role of government spending

  • Brakman, Steven
  • Garretsen, Harry
  • Marrewijk, Charles van

    (Groningen University)

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.

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File URL: http://irs.ub.rug.nl/ppn/24119864X
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Paper provided by University of Groningen, CCSO Centre for Economic Research in its series CCSO Working Papers with number 200209.

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Date of creation: 2002
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Handle: RePEc:dgr:rugccs:200209
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  1. 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.
  2. Hans-Werner Sinn, 2004. "The New Systems Competition," Perspektiven der Wirtschaftspolitik, Verein für Socialpolitik, vol. 5(1), pages 23-38, 02.
  3. Baldwin, Richard E. & Krugman, Paul, 2004. "Agglomeration, integration and tax harmonisation," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 48(1), pages 1-23, February.
  4. Sinn, Hans-Werner, 1990. "Tax harmonization and tax competition in Europe," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 34(2-3), pages 489-504, May.
  5. Forslid, Rikard & Andersson, Fredrik, 1999. "Tax Competition and Economic Geography," Research Papers in Economics 2000:5, Stockholm University, Department of Economics.
  6. Joeri Gorter & Ruud de Mooij, 2001. "Capital income taxation in Europe; trends and trade-offs," CPB Special Publication 30, CPB Netherlands Bureau for Economic Policy Analysis.
  7. Gianmarco Ottaviano, 1996. "Monopolistic Competition, Trade and Endogenous Spatial Fluctuations," Working Papers 240, Dipartimento Scienze Economiche, Universita' di Bologna.
  8. Paul Krugman, 1990. "Increasing Returns and Economic Geography," NBER Working Papers 3275, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  9. Forslid, Rikard, 1999. "Agglomeration with Human and Physical Capital: an Analytically Solvable Case," CEPR Discussion Papers 2102, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
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