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The Welfare Effects of Tax Competition Reconsidered: Politicians and Political Institutions

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  • Eckhard Janeba
  • Guttorm Schjelderup

Abstract

The views on the welfare effects of tax competition differ widely. Some see the fiscal externalities as the cause for underprovision of public goods, while others see tax competition as the means of reducing government inefficiencies. Using a comparative politics approach we show that tax competition among presidential-congressional democracies is typically welfare improving, while harmful among parliamentary democracies if under the latter public goods are sufficiently valued. The results hold when politicians seek re-election because of exogenous benefits of holding office. By contrast, when politicians hold office only to extract rents, tax competition is harmful if politicians are sufficiently patient. Copyright � The Author(s). Journal compilation � Royal Economic Society 2009.

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by Royal Economic Society in its journal The Economic Journal.

Volume (Year): 119 (2009)
Issue (Month): 539 (07)
Pages: 1143-1161

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Handle: RePEc:ecj:econjl:v:119:y:2009:i:539:p:1143-1161

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  1. Wilson, John D., 1986. "A theory of interregional tax competition," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 19(3), pages 296-315, May.
  2. Torsten Persson & Gerard Roland & Guido Tabellini, . "Comparative Politics and Public Finance," Working Papers 114, IGIER (Innocenzo Gasparini Institute for Economic Research), Bocconi University.
  3. Torsten Persson & Guido Tabellini, 1990. "The Politics of 1992: Fiscal Policy and European Integration," NBER Working Papers 3460, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  4. Daniel Diermeier & Michael Keane & Antonio Merlo, 2004. "A Political Economy Model of Congressional Careers," Discussion Papers 1387, Northwestern University, Center for Mathematical Studies in Economics and Management Science.
  5. Edwards, Jeremy & Keen, Michael, 1996. "Tax competition and Leviathan," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 40(1), pages 113-134, January.
  6. Eckhard Janeba & Guttorm Schjelderup, 2002. "Why Europe Should Love Tax Competition - and the U.S. Even More So," NBER Working Papers 9334, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  7. Rauscher, Michael, 1998. "Leviathan and Competition among Jurisdictions: The Case of Benefit Taxation," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 44(1), pages 59-67, July.
  8. Besley, Timothy J. & Smart, Michael, 2002. "Does Tax Competition Raise Voter Welfare?," CEPR Discussion Papers 3131, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  9. Wilson, John Douglas, 1999. "Theories of Tax Competition," National Tax Journal, National Tax Association, vol. 52(n. 2), pages 269-304, June.
  10. Wilson, John Douglas & Wildasin, David E., 2004. "Capital tax competition: bane or boon," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 88(6), pages 1065-1091, June.
  11. Lorz, Oliver, 1998. "Capital mobility, tax competition, and lobbying for redistributive capital taxation," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 14(2), pages 265-279, May.
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Cited by:
  1. Neumann, Rebecca & Holman, Jill & Alm, James, 2009. "Globalization and tax policy," The North American Journal of Economics and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 20(2), pages 193-211, August.
  2. Eichner, Thomas & Runkel, Marco, 2011. "Corporate income taxation of multinationals in a general equilibrium model," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 95(7-8), pages 723-733, August.
  3. Shafik Hebous, 2011. "Money at the Docks of Tax Havens: A Guide," CESifo Working Paper Series 3587, CESifo Group Munich.
  4. Janeba, Eckhard & Osterloh, Steffen, 2013. "Tax and the city — A theory of local tax competition," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 106(C), pages 89-100.
  5. Osterloh, Steffen & Debus, Marc, 2012. "Partisan politics in corporate taxation," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 28(2), pages 192-207.
  6. Janeba, Eckhard & Wilson, John Douglas, 2011. "Optimal fiscal federalism in the presence of tax competition," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 95(11), pages 1302-1311.

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