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Bidding for Investment Projects: Smart Public Policy or Corporate Welfare?

  • Johannes Van Biesebroeck

Recently, several governments in Canada have shown an increased willingness to subsidize private investment projects, especially in the manufacturing sector, to the dismay of tax conservatives. I evaluate under what circumstances these government subsidies make sense, paying particular attention to interjurisdictional competition. I show what governments should expect to pay when they join a bidding war and derive the expected welfare gain. The analysis looks in detail at the efforts of the Ontario and federal governments to attract new investments in the automobile sector.

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File URL: http://www.economics.utoronto.ca/public/workingPapers/tecipa-344.pdf
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Paper provided by University of Toronto, Department of Economics in its series Working Papers with number tecipa-344.

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Length: 28 pages
Date of creation: 16 Nov 2008
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:tor:tecipa:tecipa-344
Contact details of provider: Postal: 150 St. George Street, Toronto, Ontario
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  1. Hashmi, Aamir Rafique & Van Biesebroeck, Johannes, 2012. "The Relationship between Market Structure and Innovation in Industry Equilibrium: A Case Study of the Global Automobile Industry," CEPR Discussion Papers 8783, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  2. Black, Dan A & Hoyt, William H, 1989. "Bidding for Firms," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 79(5), pages 1249-56, December.
  3. Adam B. Jaffe & Manuel Trajtenberg & Rebecca Henderson, 1992. "Geographic Localization of Knowledge Spillovers as Evidenced by Patent Citations," NBER Working Papers 3993, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  4. Michael Greenstone & Richard Hornbeck & Enrico Moretti, 2008. "Identifying Agglomeration Spillovers: Evidence from Million Dollar Plants," Working Paper Series 36-08, The Rimini Centre for Economic Analysis, revised Jan 2008.
  5. Blomström, Magnus & Kokko, Ari, 2003. "The Economics of Foreign Direct Investment Incentives," CEPR Discussion Papers 3775, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  6. Thomas J. Holmes, 1996. "How industries migrate when agglomeration economies are important," Staff Report 219, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis.
  7. Edward L. Glaeser, 2001. "The Economics of Location-Based Tax Incentives," Harvard Institute of Economic Research Working Papers 1932, Harvard - Institute of Economic Research.
  8. Milgrom, Paul & Roberts, John, 1990. "The Economics of Modern Manufacturing: Technology, Strategy, and Organization," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 80(3), pages 511-28, June.
  9. Damien D. Neven & Georges Siotis, 1993. "Foreign direct investment in the european community: Some policy issues," ULB Institutional Repository 2013/184831, ULB -- Universite Libre de Bruxelles.
  10. Moretti, Enrico, 2004. "Bidding for Industrial Plants: Does Winning a 'Million Dollar Plant' Increase Welfare?," Santa Cruz Department of Economics, Working Paper Series qt5cz0h23t, Department of Economics, UC Santa Cruz.
  11. Head, C. Keith & Ries, John C. & Swenson, Deborah L., 1999. "Attracting foreign manufacturing: Investment promotion and agglomeration," Regional Science and Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 29(2), pages 197-218, March.
  12. Johannes Van Biesebroeck & Aamir Hashmi, 2007. "Market Structure and Innovation: A Dynamic Analysis of the Global Automobile Industry," 2007 Meeting Papers 362, Society for Economic Dynamics.
  13. James A. Brander & Barbara J. Spencer, 1980. "Tariffs and the Extraction of Foreign Monopoly Rents under Potential Entry," Working Papers 414, Queen's University, Department of Economics.
  14. Ian King & R. Preston McAfee & Linda Welling, 1993. "Industrial Blackmail: Dynamic Tax Competition and Public Investment," Canadian Journal of Economics, Canadian Economics Association, vol. 26(3), pages 590-608, August.
  15. Barros, Pedro P & Cabral, Luis, 2000. "Competing for Foreign Direct Investment," Review of International Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 8(2), pages 360-71, May.
  16. Thomas H. Klier, 1999. "Agglomeration in the U.S. auto supplier industry," Economic Perspectives, Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago, issue Q I, pages 18-34.
  17. Neven, Damien & Siotis, Georges, 1993. "Foreign Direct Investment in the European Community: Some Policy Issues," Oxford Review of Economic Policy, Oxford University Press, vol. 9(2), pages 72-93, Summer.
  18. Johannes Van Biesebroeck, 2008. "Governments at the bidding table," New Zealand Economic Papers, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 42(2), pages 213-232.
  19. Bev Dahlby, 2005. "A Framework for Evaluating Provincial R&D Tax Subsidies," Canadian Public Policy, University of Toronto Press, vol. 31(1), pages 45-58, March.
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