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Redistribution, Fiscal Competition, and the Politics of Economic Integration

The paper examines the redistributive consequences of the economic integration of factor markets. We consider two countries that redistribute income among their residents. The social benefits in each country are financed by a source based tax on capital which is democratically chosen by its inhabitants. If either capital or labour is internationally mobile, the countries engage in fiscal competiton, i.e., the partial integration of capital or labour markets is detrimental to the countries' redistributive ability. A move from partial to full integration, however, may alleviate rather than intensify fiscal competition, particularly, if the two countries face sufficiently similar economic and political conditions. In such a situation, increased integration of labour markets will soften the incentives compete for mobile capital. As a result, there is more redistribution in equilibrium and a majority of the population in each country is strictly better off.

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Paper provided by Department of Economics, Simon Fraser University in its series Discussion Papers with number dp00-11.

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Length: 35 pages
Date of creation: Jan 2000
Date of revision: Feb 2000
Handle: RePEc:sfu:sfudps:dp00-11
Contact details of provider: Postal: Department of Economics, Simon Fraser University, 8888 University Drive, Burnaby, BC, V5A 1S6, Canada
Phone: (778)782-3508
Fax: (778)782-5944
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  1. Jeremy Edwards & Michael Keen, 1994. "Tax competition and Leviathon," IFS Working Papers W94/07, Institute for Fiscal Studies.
  2. Bucovetsky, S., 1991. "Asymmetric tax competition," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 30(2), pages 167-181, September.
  3. Myers, Gordon M., 1990. "Optimality, free mobility, and the regional authority in a federation," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 43(1), pages 107-121, October.
  4. Robin W. Boadway & Frank R. Flatters, 1982. "Efficiency and Equalization Payments in a Federal System of Government: A Synthesis and Extension of Recent Results," Canadian Journal of Economics, Canadian Economics Association, vol. 15(4), pages 613-33, November.
  5. WILDASIN, David, . "Nash equilibria in models of fiscal competition," CORE Discussion Papers RP 804, Université catholique de Louvain, Center for Operations Research and Econometrics (CORE).
  6. Bucovetsky, S., 1995. "Rent seeking and tax competition," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 58(3), pages 337-363, November.
  7. Flatters, Frank & Henderson, Vernon & Mieszkowski, Peter, 1974. "Public goods, efficiency, and regional fiscal equalization," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 3(2), pages 99-112, May.
  8. Bolton, Patrick & Roland, Gérard, 1995. "The Break up of Nations: A Political Economy Analysis," CEPR Discussion Papers 1225, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  9. Keen, Michael, 1987. "Welfare effects of commodity tax harmonisation," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 33(1), pages 107-114, June.
  10. Cremer, Helmuth & Pestieau, Pierre, 1996. "Distributive implications of European integration," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 40(3-5), pages 747-757, April.
  11. Torsten Persson & Guido Tabellini, 1992. "The Politics of 1992: Fiscal Policy and European Integration," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 59(4), pages 689-701.
  12. Epple, Dennis & Romer, Thomas, 1991. "Mobility and Redistribution," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 99(4), pages 828-58, August.
  13. Wildasin, David E, 1991. "Income Redistribution in a Common Labor Market," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 81(4), pages 757-74, September.
  14. Burbidge, John B. & Myers, Gordon M., 1994. "Population mobility and capital tax competition," Regional Science and Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 24(4), pages 441-459, August.
  15. Wilson, John Douglas, 1987. "Trade, Capital Mobility, and Tax Competition," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 95(4), pages 835-56, August.
  16. Roger H. Gordon, 1983. "An Optimal Taxation Approach to Fiscal Federalism," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 98(4), pages 567-586.
  17. Wilson, John Douglas, 1991. "Tax competition with interregional differences in factor endowments," Regional Science and Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 21(3), pages 423-451, November.
  18. repec:tpr:qjecon:v:112:y:1997:i:4:p:1057-90 is not listed on IDEAS
  19. Roberto Perotti, 1993. "Political Equilibrium, Income Distribution, and Growth," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 60(4), pages 755-776.
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