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Essays in applied microeconomic theory: crime and defence

By Paul Matthew Randle


The first part of this thesis is concerned with tax competition when the tax receipts fund an anti-crime measure. Both the capital and criminals are mobile between two jurisdictions. The resulting pure strategy Nash equilibrium tax rates are distorted from the optimal tax by the equilibrium migration response of the rich; if positive at the equilibrium then tax competition will result in taxes that are too high whilst if it is negative taxes will be too low compared to the optimum. The best response functions of the model are tested using data from England and Wales. The possibility that they engage in tax competition cannot be ruled out. It is possible for a central government to devolve tax raising powers without the distortion occurring if they can impose an optimal sanction. This, though, is independent of the harm caused by the crime and could be politically difficult to introduce.\ud \ud The second part looks at the Ministry of Defence’s procurement policy since 1985. The role of competition has increased but scant attention was played to the trade-off between maximising the benefits of current competition and obtaining future competition. The Ministry of Defence always chose to take the benefits in the short term arguing any loss of competition merely eliminated excess capacity which the Ministry of Defence would no longer have to pay for. Whilst the empirics suggest this is true during the 1990s, the problems encountered on the Type 45 project at the start of the millennium demonstrate the difficulties they have in procuring given the limited number of domestic firms they can contract with. An alternative mechanism of directed buys, with recourse to a competitive market off the equilibrium path, is suggested as a way in which the Ministry of Defence can preserve competition into the future

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