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The Regional Distribution of Public Employment: Theory and Evidence

  • Kessing, Sebastian G.

    ()

    (University of Siegen)

  • Strozzi, Chiara

    ()

    (University of Modena and Reggio Emilia)

We analyze the optimal regional pattern of public employment in an information-constrained second-best redistribution policy showing that regionally differentiated public employment can serve as an expenditure side tagging device, bypassing or relaxing the equity-efficiency trade-off. The optimal pattern exhibits higher levels of public employment in low productivity regions and is more pronounced the higher is the degree of regional inequality within the country. Empirically, using a panel of European regions from 1995-2007, we find evidence that public employment is systematically higher in low productivity regions. The latter effect is stronger in countries with higher levels of regional inequality.

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Paper provided by Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA) in its series IZA Discussion Papers with number 6449.

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Length: 25 pages
Date of creation: Mar 2012
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp6449
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  1. Sören Blomquist & Vidar Christiansen & Luca Micheletto, 2008. "Public Provision of Private Goods and Nondistortionary Marginal Tax Rates," CESifo Working Paper Series 2303, CESifo Group Munich.
  2. Michael Lundholm & Hans Wijkander, 2008. "Why Do Scandinavian Governments Employ So Many and the United States Government So Few?," FinanzArchiv: Public Finance Analysis, Mohr Siebeck, Tübingen, vol. 64(3), pages 364-379, September.
  3. Lars-Erik Borge & Egil Matsen, 2004. "Public Employment and Regional Risk Sharing," Scandinavian Journal of Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 106(2), pages 215-230, 06.
  4. Boadway, Robin & Keen, Michael, 1993. "Public Goods, Self-Selection and Optimal Income Taxation," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 34(3), pages 463-78, August.
  5. Alberto Alesina & Stephan Danninger & Massimo Rostagno, 1999. "Redistribution Through Public Employment: The Case of Italy," NBER Working Papers 7387, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  6. Naito, Hisahiro, 1999. "Re-examination of uniform commodity taxes under a non-linear income tax system and its implication for production efficiency," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 71(2), pages 165-188, February.
  7. Jaimovich, Esteban & Rud, Juan Pablo, 2014. "Excessive public employment and rent-seeking traps," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 106(C), pages 144-155.
  8. Marina Murat & Barbara Pistoresi, 2009. "Emigrant and immigrant networks in FDI," Applied Economics Letters, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 16(12), pages 1261-1264.
  9. KaiA. Konrad & SebastianG. Kessing, 2008. "Time Consistency and Bureaucratic Budget Competition," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 118(525), pages 1-15, 01.
  10. Giuseppe Marotta, 1997. "Does trade credit redistribution thwart monetary policy? Evidence from Italy," Applied Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 29(12), pages 1619-1629.
  11. Jukka Pirttilä & Matti Tuomala, 2005. "Public Versus Private Production Decisions: Redistribution and the Size of the Public Sector," FinanzArchiv: Public Finance Analysis, Mohr Siebeck, Tübingen, vol. 61(1), pages 120-, March.
  12. Jorge Martinez-Vazquez & Ming-Hung Yao, 2009. "Fiscal Decentralization and Public Sector Employment: A Cross-Country Analysis," International Center for Public Policy Working Paper Series, at AYSPS, GSU paper0903, International Center for Public Policy, Andrew Young School of Policy Studies, Georgia State University.
  13. Alesina, Alberto & Baqir, Reza & Easterly, William, 2000. "Redistributive Public Employment," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 48(2), pages 219-241, September.
  14. Konrad, Kai A. & Kessing, Sebastian G., 2008. "Time consistency and bureaucratic budget competition," Munich Reprints in Economics 22090, University of Munich, Department of Economics.
  15. Rodrik, Dani, 2000. "What Drives Public Employment in Developing Countries?," Review of Development Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 4(3), pages 229-43, October.
  16. Enlinson Mattos & Vitor França, 2011. "Public employment and income redistribution: causal evidence for Brazilian municipalities," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 146(1), pages 43-73, January.
  17. Wilson, John D., 1982. "The optimal public employment policy," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 17(2), pages 241-258, March.
  18. Charles Blackorby & Craig Brett, 2004. "Production Efficiency and the Direct-Indirect Tax Mix," Journal of Public Economic Theory, Association for Public Economic Theory, vol. 6(1), pages 165-180, 02.
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