Economic integration and fiscal devolution

Manuel Leite-Monteiro*, Motohiro Sato

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)


In this paper we investigate how economic integration influences the political decision of integration and separation of jurisdictions. In a model with (imperfect) capital mobility, we consider that, not only the redistributive policy itself, but also the level of policy centralization is decided by a majority vote. We find that the net benefit from integration is not monotonic with the level of world capital market integration and present a case where integration of two regions occurs only for intermediate levels of mobility. This conclusion relies on the comparison of the regional majorities' utility under the various regimes. The benefits from integration arise from the elimination of tax competition across jurisdictions, which allows for more income redistribution, whereas the costs are linked to the diversity of preferences across regions, namely that of the decisive voters. We also show that a federal regime is better than complete centralization in keeping a nation united.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2507-2525
Number of pages19
JournalJournal of Public Economics
Issue number11
Publication statusPublished - 1 Oct 2003


  • Decentralization
  • Integration
  • Separation
  • Tax competition


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