DP11980 | Wedges: Distribution, Distortions, and Market Integration

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04/21/2017

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Abstract

This paper proposes a stylized model of policy determination and imperfect international integration. A policy wedge aims to correct laissez-faire market imperfections and/or redistribute welfare across heterogeneous agents. Policy is subject to both race-to-the-bottom and beggar-thy-neighbor forces if the country's politico-economic equilibrium interacts with the rest of the world. Variation of international market wedges induces patterns of country-specific regulation and deregulation that depend on political and structural features in non-obvious, intuitive, and empirically realistic ways.