Distributional Conflict in Small Open Economies

Andreas Schaefer, Thomas Steger

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We aim at a better understanding of the inefficiencies resulting from distributional conflict in small open economies. To this end, a general equilibrium model with the following characteristics is set up: two groups of agents (capitalists and workers), an endogenous income tax, productive government expenditures, social transfers, and an outside option for capital. The overall distributional-conflict inefficiency is decomposed into three components: (i) a fundamental time inconsistency problem; (ii) strategic interaction in the political process; (iii) heterogeneity among individuals and the resulting unavoidable conflict of interest. A numerical exercise (based on OECD data) indicates that the distributional-conflict inefficiency may cause a substantial output loss.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)355
Number of pages367
JournalResearch in Economics
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2013


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