Subsidising investment in lagging regions is an important regional policy instrument in many countries. Some argue that this instrument is not specific enough to concentrate the aid towards the regions that are lagging behind most, because investment subsidies benefit capital owners who might reside elsewhere, possibly in very rich places. Checking under which conditions this is true is thus highly policy relevant. The present paper studies regional investment subsidies in a multiregional neoclassical dynamic framework. We set up a model with trade in heterogeneous goods, with a perfectly integrated financial capital market and sluggish adjustment of regional capital stocks. Consumers and investors act under perfect foresight. We derive the equilibrium system, show how to solve it, and simulate actual European regional subsidies in computational applications. We find that the size of the welfare gains depends on the portfolio distribution held by the households. If households own diversified asset portfolios, we find that the supported regions gain roughly the amounts that are allocated to them in the form of investment subsidies. If they only own local capital stocks, a part of the money is lost through the drop in share prices. From the point of view of total welfare, the subsidy is not efficient. It can lead to a welfare loss for the EU as a whole and definitely leads to welfare losses in the rest of the world, from where investment ows to the supported EU regions.
Exporter wage premium Heterogeneous firms Ability differences of workers Positive assortative matching Trade and wage inequality