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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 over 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 enlargement leads to deeper integration, whereas beyond that size further enlargement implies less centralization. We also show that freezing the level of centralization and associate memberships can mitigate the trade-off.

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File URL: http://www.econ.kuleuven.be/VIVES/publicaties/discussionpapers/DP/DP2008/vivesdiscussionpaper2.pdf
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Paper provided by Katholieke Universiteit Leuven, Faculteit Economie en Bedrijfswetenschappen, Vives in its series Vives discussion paper series with number 2.

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Date of creation: 2008
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Handle: RePEc:ete:vivwps:2
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Web page: http://www.econ.kuleuven.be/vives
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  1. Michela Redoano & Kimberley Ann Scharf, 2001. "The Political Economy of Policy Centralization: Direct Versus Representative Democracy," CESifo Working Paper Series 602, CESifo Group Munich.
  2. John Wilson & Eckhard Janeba, 2003. "Decentralization and International Tax Competition," CESifo Working Paper Series 854, CESifo Group Munich.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. Oliver Lorz & Gerald Willmann, 2004. "On the Endogenous Allocation of Decision Powers in Federal Structures," Kiel Working Papers 1209, Kiel Institute for the World Economy.
  6. Etro, Federico & Ageloni, Ignazio & Alesina, Alberto, 2005. "International Unions," Scholarly Articles 4553008, Harvard University Department of Economics.
  7. 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.
  8. Guillaume Cheikbossian, 2000. "Federalism, distributive politics and representative democracy," Economics of Governance, Springer, vol. 1(2), pages 105-122, 07.
  9. R Dur & H.J. Roelfsema, 2004. "Why Does Centralisation Fail to Internalise Policy Externalities?," Working Papers 04-09, Utrecht School of Economics.
  10. Torsten Persson & Guido Tabellini, 1990. "The Politics of 1992: Fiscal Policy and European Integration," NBER Working Papers 3460, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  11. Michele Ruta, 2005. "Economic Theories of Political (Dis)integration," Journal of Economic Surveys, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 19(1), pages 1-21, 02.
  12. 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.
  13. 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.
  14. Roberto Perotti & Massimo V. Rostagno & Gian-Maria Milesi-Ferretti, 2001. "Electoral System and Public Spending," IMF Working Papers 01/22, International Monetary Fund.
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