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Local Public Goods, Debt and Migration

  • Christian Schultz
  • Tomas Sjöström

Migration raises a potential free rider problem for th eprovision of durable local goods if the late-comers can enjoy the public good without paying for it. Allowing communities to finance public goods by debt mitigates this problem, since future immigrants have to share the burden of the debt. However, in equilibrium there will be over-accumulation of local debt. There may be more or less public good than in first best, but conditional on the inefficiently high level of debt there will be too few public goods. A competitive market for land reduces but does not in general eliminate the inefficiencies.

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Paper provided by Economic Policy Research Unit (EPRU), University of Copenhagen. Department of Economics in its series EPRU Working Paper Series with number 00-11.

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Handle: RePEc:kud:epruwp:00-11
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  1. Charles M. Tiebout, 1956. "A Pure Theory of Local Expenditures," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 64, pages 416.
  2. Konishi, Hideo & Weber, Shlomo & Le Breton, Michel, 1997. "Free mobility equilibrium in a local public goods economy with congestion," Research in Economics, Elsevier, vol. 51(1), pages 19-30, April.
  3. Schultz, Christian & Sjostrom, Tomas, 2001. "Local public goods, debt and migration," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 80(2), pages 313-337, May.
  4. Wildasin, David E., 1987. "Theoretical analysis of local public economics," Handbook of Regional and Urban Economics, in: E. S. Mills (ed.), Handbook of Regional and Urban Economics, edition 1, volume 2, chapter 29, pages 1131-1178 Elsevier.
  5. Epple, Dennis & Romer, Thomas, 1991. "Mobility and Redistribution," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 99(4), pages 828-58, August.
  6. Epple, Dennis & Filimon, Radu & Romer, Thomas, 1984. "Equilibrium among local jurisdictions: toward an integrated treatment of voting and residential choice," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 24(3), pages 281-308, August.
  7. Bucovetsky, Sam & Wilson, John Douglas, 1991. "Tax competition with two tax instruments," Regional Science and Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 21(3), pages 333-350, November.
  8. Jensen, Richard & Toma, Eugenia Froedge, 1991. "Debt in a model of tax competition," Regional Science and Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 21(3), pages 371-392, November.
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