Passports for Sale: The Political Economy of Conflict and Cooperation in a Meta-Club

20 Pages Posted: 28 Oct 2019

See all articles by Kai A. Konrad

Kai A. Konrad

Max Planck Institute for Tax Law and Public Finance; Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR); CESifo (Center for Economic Studies and Ifo Institute for Economic Research); IZA Institute of Labor Economics

Ray Rees

Ludwig Maximilian University of Munich (LMU) - Faculty of Economics; CESifo (Center for Economic Studies and Ifo Institute)

Abstract

Some of the member states of the European Union sell citizenship or residence to wealthy foreign investors. We analyse these "golden-passport" programs as a study in the political economy of conflict and cooperation in an international meta-club. Seen through the lens of club goods theory, the EU is a club of nations, each of which can be interpreted as itself a club. Each single nation reserves the right to govern the admission of new individual members into its own club, and new members automatically benefit from the EU wide meta-club good.We characterize the unique equilibrium when individual clubs that may differ in membership size are free to choose the terms on which they admit members, and evaluate it from the point of view of the wellbeing of the set of clubs as a whole. We identify club size and benefits as well as differences in cost externalities as the key determinants. We also consider how the set of clubs as a whole can respond to the economic inefficiency problems such a situation creates.

Keywords: club of clubs, membership rights, European Union, quotas

JEL Classification: F15, F53, H77

Suggested Citation

Konrad, Kai A. and Rees, Ray, Passports for Sale: The Political Economy of Conflict and Cooperation in a Meta-Club. IZA Discussion Paper No. 12696. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3475802

Kai A. Konrad (Contact Author)

Max Planck Institute for Tax Law and Public Finance ( email )

Marstallplatz 1
Munich, 80539
Germany

HOME PAGE: http://www.tax.mpg.de/en/pub/home.cfm

Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR)

90-98 Goswell Road
London, EC1V 7RR
United Kingdom

CESifo (Center for Economic Studies and Ifo Institute for Economic Research)

Poschinger Str. 5
Munich, 81679
Germany

IZA Institute of Labor Economics

P.O. Box 7240
Bonn, 53072
Germany

Ray Rees

Ludwig Maximilian University of Munich (LMU) - Faculty of Economics ( email )

Munich, D-80539
Germany

CESifo (Center for Economic Studies and Ifo Institute)

Poschinger Str. 5
Munich, DE-81679
Germany

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