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Internal Migrations and Decentralization of Public Investment

Dirk Niepelt () and Martin Gonzalez-Eiras ()

No 737, 2010 Meeting Papers from Society for Economic Dynamics

Abstract: We develop a dynamic politico-economic model of public investment where decisions can be made at several levels of government: federal, state, or county. The model predicts that in the absence of internal mobility, the higher level of government would fund all investments that present positive externalities not fully internalized at lower levels. But when there are important internal migrations unrelated to fiscal policy, investments that are embodied - and therefore are useful to citizens if they move to other jurisdictions, like education - are more likely to be funded at the local level than investments that are physically sunk, as infrastructure. Such pattern of migrations and financing is consistent with U.S. data.

Date: 2010
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