The effects of fiscal equalisation in a model with endogenous regional governments : an analysis in a two-region numerical model

Nicolaas Groenewold, A.J. Hagger

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Abstract

This paper is concerned primarily with the economic and welfare consequences of federal redistributive grants. We use a model which has two regions, each with households, firms and regional governments as well as a federal government. Private agents are (utility and profit) maximisers and we assume that regional governments are empire-builders in that they choose their expenditure and tax levels so as to maximise total expenditure-the size of their empire. Labour is free to move between regions in response to utility differences and does so until such differences have been eliminated. Inter-regional migration, inter-regional trade flows and federal government redistribution are the main sources of interconnectedness between the two regions. The model is linearised in log-differences and simulated using a calibration based on Australian state-level data. We find that the welfare effect of intergovernmental transfers is trivial but that all other variables of interest change substantially-consumption, employment, prices, taxes, wages, output and government expenditure. Finally, the signs of the effects of a federal transfer are not affected by the empire-building behaviour of regional governments although the magnitude of the effects is generally dampened.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)353-374
JournalAnnals of regional science
Volume41
Issue number2
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2007

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fiscal equalization
expenditures
expenditure
Federal Government
regional trade
trade flow
public spending
welfare
wage
labor
redistribution
taxes
calibration
grant
profit
migration
firm
economics
effect
analysis

Cite this

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title = "The effects of fiscal equalisation in a model with endogenous regional governments : an analysis in a two-region numerical model",
abstract = "This paper is concerned primarily with the economic and welfare consequences of federal redistributive grants. We use a model which has two regions, each with households, firms and regional governments as well as a federal government. Private agents are (utility and profit) maximisers and we assume that regional governments are empire-builders in that they choose their expenditure and tax levels so as to maximise total expenditure-the size of their empire. Labour is free to move between regions in response to utility differences and does so until such differences have been eliminated. Inter-regional migration, inter-regional trade flows and federal government redistribution are the main sources of interconnectedness between the two regions. The model is linearised in log-differences and simulated using a calibration based on Australian state-level data. We find that the welfare effect of intergovernmental transfers is trivial but that all other variables of interest change substantially-consumption, employment, prices, taxes, wages, output and government expenditure. Finally, the signs of the effects of a federal transfer are not affected by the empire-building behaviour of regional governments although the magnitude of the effects is generally dampened.",
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N2 - This paper is concerned primarily with the economic and welfare consequences of federal redistributive grants. We use a model which has two regions, each with households, firms and regional governments as well as a federal government. Private agents are (utility and profit) maximisers and we assume that regional governments are empire-builders in that they choose their expenditure and tax levels so as to maximise total expenditure-the size of their empire. Labour is free to move between regions in response to utility differences and does so until such differences have been eliminated. Inter-regional migration, inter-regional trade flows and federal government redistribution are the main sources of interconnectedness between the two regions. The model is linearised in log-differences and simulated using a calibration based on Australian state-level data. We find that the welfare effect of intergovernmental transfers is trivial but that all other variables of interest change substantially-consumption, employment, prices, taxes, wages, output and government expenditure. Finally, the signs of the effects of a federal transfer are not affected by the empire-building behaviour of regional governments although the magnitude of the effects is generally dampened.

AB - This paper is concerned primarily with the economic and welfare consequences of federal redistributive grants. We use a model which has two regions, each with households, firms and regional governments as well as a federal government. Private agents are (utility and profit) maximisers and we assume that regional governments are empire-builders in that they choose their expenditure and tax levels so as to maximise total expenditure-the size of their empire. Labour is free to move between regions in response to utility differences and does so until such differences have been eliminated. Inter-regional migration, inter-regional trade flows and federal government redistribution are the main sources of interconnectedness between the two regions. The model is linearised in log-differences and simulated using a calibration based on Australian state-level data. We find that the welfare effect of intergovernmental transfers is trivial but that all other variables of interest change substantially-consumption, employment, prices, taxes, wages, output and government expenditure. Finally, the signs of the effects of a federal transfer are not affected by the empire-building behaviour of regional governments although the magnitude of the effects is generally dampened.

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