NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH
NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH

Bernd Huber

Leibniz Computing Centre of the
Bavarian Academy of Sciences and Humanities

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NBER Working Papers and Publications

August 1998Why Do Countries Subsidize Investment and Not Employment?
with Clemens Fuest: w6685
The governments of nearly all industrialised countries use subsidies to support the economic development of specific sectors or regions with high rates of unemployment. Conventional economic wisdom would suggest that the most efficient way to support these regions or sectors is to pay employment subsidies. We present evidence showing that capital subsidies are empirically much more important than employment subsidies. We then discuss possible explanations for the dominance of investment subsidies and develop a simple model with unemployment to explain this phenomenon. In our model, unemployment arises due to bargaining between unions and heterogenous firms that differ with respect to their productivity. Union bargaining power raises wage costs and leads to a socially inefficient collapse o...

Published: Fuest, Clemens and Bernd Huber. "Why Do Governments Subsidize Investment And Not Employment?," Journal of Public Economics, 2000, v78(1-2,Oct), 171-192.

 
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