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Oates' Decentralization Theorem with Household Mobility

  • Francis Bloch

    (Department of Economics, Ecole Polytechnique - CNRS : UMR7176 - Polytechnique - X)

  • Unal Zenginobuz

    (Bogazici Universitesi - {-])

This paper studies how Oates' trade-off between centralized and decentralized public good provision is affected by changes in households' mobility. We show that an increase in household mobility favors centralization, as it increases competition between jurisdictions in the decentralized regime and accelerates migration to the majority jurisdiction in the centralized regime. Our main result is obtained in a baseline model where jurisdictions first choose taxes, and households move in response to taxb levels. We consider two variants of the model. If jurisdictions choose public goods rather than tax rates, the equilibrium level of public good provision is lower, and mobility again favors centralization. If jurisdictions maximize total utility rather than resident utility, the equilibrium level of public good provision again decreases, and mobility favors centralization when the size of the mobile population is bounded.

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Paper provided by HAL in its series Working Papers with number hal-00657823.

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Date of creation: 09 Jan 2012
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Handle: RePEc:hal:wpaper:hal-00657823
Note: View the original document on HAL open archive server: http://hal.archives-ouvertes.fr/hal-00657823/en/
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  1. Michael Hoel & Perry Shapiro, 2004. "Transboundary Environmental Problems with Mobile but Heterogeneous Populations," Environmental & Resource Economics, European Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, vol. 27(3), pages 265-272, March.
  2. David E. Wildasin, 2005. "Global Competition for Mobile Resources: Implications for Equity, Efficiency, and Political Economy," Working Papers 2005-08, University of Kentucky, Institute for Federalism and Intergovernmental Relations.
  3. Boadway, Robin & Tremblay, Jean-François, 2012. "Reassessment of the Tiebout model," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 96(11), pages 1063-1078.
  4. Wellisch, Dietmar, 1994. "Interregional spillovers in the presence of perfect and imperfect household mobility," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 55(2), pages 167-184, October.
  5. Hoel, Michael, 2004. "Interregional interactions and population mobility," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 55(3), pages 419-433, November.
  6. Bloch, Francis & Zenginobuz, E. Unal, 2006. "Tiebout equilibria in local public good economies with spillovers," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 90(8-9), pages 1745-1763, September.
  7. De Palma, Andre & Papageorgiou, Yorgos Y., 1988. "Heterogeneity in states and urban structure," Regional Science and Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 18(1), pages 37-56, February.
  8. Wellisch, Dietmar, 1993. "On the decentralized provision of public goods with spillovers in the presence of household mobility," Regional Science and Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 23(5), pages 667-679, November.
  9. Arzaghi, Mohammad & Henderson, J. Vernon, 2005. "Why countries are fiscally decentralizing," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 89(7), pages 1157-1189, July.
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