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This Town Ain't Big Enough? Quantifying Local Public Goods Spillovers

Nicolas Jannin and Aurélie Sotura
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Nicolas Jannin: PSE - Paris School of Economics, PJSE - Paris Jourdan Sciences Economiques - UP1 - Université Panthéon-Sorbonne - ENS Paris - École normale supérieure - Paris - INRA - Institut National de la Recherche Agronomique - EHESS - École des hautes études en sciences sociales - ENPC - École des Ponts ParisTech - CNRS - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique
Aurélie Sotura: PSE - Paris School of Economics, PJSE - Paris Jourdan Sciences Economiques - UP1 - Université Panthéon-Sorbonne - ENS Paris - École normale supérieure - Paris - INRA - Institut National de la Recherche Agronomique - EHESS - École des hautes études en sciences sociales - ENPC - École des Ponts ParisTech - CNRS - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique

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Abstract: Despite long-standing theoretical interest, empirical attempts at investigating the appropriate level of decentralization remain scarce. This paper develops a simple and flexible framework to test for the presence of public good spillovers between fiscally autonomous jurisdictions and investigate potential welfare gains from marginal fiscal integration. We build a quantitative spatial equilibrium model of cities with mobile households and endogenous local public goods causingspillovers across jurisdictional boundaries. We show how one can exploit migration and house priceresponses to shocks in local public goods at different geographic scales to reveal the intensity ofspillovers. Applying our framework to the particularly fragmented French institutional setting, westructurally estimate the model using a unique combination of administrative panel datasets on cities. Estimation relies on plausibly exogenous variations in government subsidies to instrument changes in the supply of local public goods. We find that public goods of neighboring cities account for approximately 89-96% of total public goods benefiting residents of the average French city. Finally, we simulate the effect of a reform increasing fiscal integration and find substantial welfare gains.

Keywords: Local Public Service; Spillover Effect; Spatial General Equilibrium; Tiebout; Welfare Economics; State Government Subsidies (search for similar items in EconPapers)
New Economics Papers: this item is included in nep-ure
Date: 2019-06
Note: View the original document on HAL open archive server: https://halshs.archives-ouvertes.fr/halshs-02160251
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