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Institutional Competition

New Thinking in Political Economy series
Edited by Andreas Bergh, Lund University and Research Institute of Industrial Economics, Sweden and Rolf Höijer, Senior Science Officer, Swedish Research Council, Associate Research Fellow, Ratio Institute, Sweden and London School of Economics – Public Policy Group, UK
Why is competition between institutions usually viewed in a negative light, when competition is considered positive in most other economic contexts? The contributors to this volume introduce new perspectives on this issue, analytically and empirically exploring reasons for this perception.
Extent: 288 pp
Hardback Price: £88.00 Online: £79.20
Publication Date: 2008
ISBN: 978 1 84720 669 5
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  • Economics and Finance
  • Austrian Economics
  • Institutional Economics
Why is competition between institutions usually viewed in a negative light, when competition is considered positive in most other economic contexts? The contributors to this volume introduce new perspectives on this issue, analytically and empirically exploring reasons for this perception.

Negative assessments of institutional competition emphasize that such competition may lead to a race to the bottom in terms of eroding government revenues, redistributing wealth from workers to capitalists, and limiting democracy by forcing politicians to prioritize international investment capital rather than working for their voters. In this volume, however, many of the essays draw attention to the positive learning and information effects. The contributors conclude that competition may actually lead to institutions becoming more efficient in allocating resources.

Students and scholars of economics, political economy, international relations and political science will find the book’s non-traditional take on institutional competition a must-read, as will policy analysts and those with an interest in taxation and welfare states.
‘This book has much to commend it, because of the richness and diversity of the issues addressed.’
– Indira Rajaraman, Tax Justice Focus

‘The volume offers substantial insights into the nature of institutional competition, focusing mostly on governmental institutions, and shows the many subtleties in understanding and analyzing the role of institutions. Institutional competition is a small subset of institutional analysis, but an important one, and while the volume does cover the more familiar tax and expenditure topics, it also delves more deeply into the subject.’
– Randall G. Holcombe, Public Choice

‘While economists typically praise the merits of competition among market-based enterprises, they are not so sure when it comes to competition among institutions, especially governments. I am aware of no better source
for thoughtful reflection on competition among institutions than the ten essays presented in this book.’
– Richard E. Wagner, George Mason University, US
Contributors: A. Bergh, P. Bernholz, V. Curzon-Price, L.P. Feld, R. Höijer, V. Vanberg, R. Vaubel, E. Weede, M. Wohlgemuth
Contents:

Foreword

Preface
Andreas Bergh and Rolf Höijer

1. The Concept of Institutional Competition
Rolf Höijer

2. A History of Thought on Institutional Competition
Roland Vaubel

3. Learning Through Institutional Competition
Michael Wohlgemuth

4. Institutional Competition: International Environment, Levels and
Consequences
Peter Bernholz

5. Can Competition Between Governments Enhance Democracy?
Viktor J. Vanberg

6. Tax Competition and Tax Cartels
Rolf Höijer

7. Fiscal Competition and the Optimization of Tax Revenues for Higher Growth
Victoria Curzon-Price

8. A Race to the Bottom for the Big Welfare States?
Andreas Bergh

9. Fiscal Federalism and Economic Growth in OECD Countries
Lars P. Feld

10. Asia’s Giants in the World Economy: China and India
Erich Weede

Index