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The Brazilian ``Tax War''

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  • Luiz de Mello

    (Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), Paris)

Abstract

This article tests for horizontal tax competition in the value-added tax (VAT) for a sample of Brazilian states in the period 1985-2001. The states have considerable autonomy over the VAT and often use it as an industrial policy tool. The empirical findings, based on the estimation of a tax reaction function in an error-correction setup, confirm that the states react strongly to changes in their neighbors' VAT code, especially those that belong to the same geoeconomic region. Also, there is a Stackelberg leader among the states, with the remaining jurisdictions responding strongly to its policy moves. There is no co-occupancy of tax bases among different levels of government and hence limited scope for vertical externalities in tax setting. But the fact that the federal government shares with the states part of the revenue of its more elastic taxes, such as the income tax, appears to affect the opportunity cost of horizontal tax competition.

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by in its journal Public Finance Review.

Volume (Year): 36 (2008)
Issue (Month): 2 (March)
Pages: 169-193

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Handle: RePEc:sae:pubfin:v:36:y:2008:i:2:p:169-193

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Related research

Keywords: tax reaction function; Brazil; ICMS; Nash; Stackelberg;

References

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  1. Kanbur, Ravi & Keen, Michael, 1993. "Jeux Sans Frontieres: Tax Competition and Tax Coordination When Countries Differ in Size," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 83(4), pages 877-92, September.
  2. Timothy Besley & Anne Case, 1992. "Incumbent Behavior: Vote Seeking, Tax Setting and Yardstick Competition," NBER Working Papers 4041, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  3. Esteller-More, Alex & Sole-Olle, Albert, 2001. "Vertical income tax externalities and fiscal interdependence: evidence from the US," Regional Science and Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 31(2-3), pages 247-272, April.
  4. Timothy J. Besley & Harvey S. Rosen, 1999. "Vertical Externalities in Tax Setting: Evidence from Gasoline and Cigarettes," NBER Working Papers 6517, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  5. Michael Keen, 1997. "Vertical Tax Externalities in the Theory of Fiscal Federalism," IMF Working Papers 97/173, International Monetary Fund.
  6. Keen, Michael J. & Kotsogiannis, Christos, 2004. "Tax competition in federations and the welfare consequences of decentralization," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 56(3), pages 397-407, November.
  7. Marius BRÜLHART & Mario JAMETTI, 2004. "Vertical Versus Horizontal Tax Externalities: An Empirical Test," Cahiers de Recherches Economiques du Département d'Econométrie et d'Economie politique (DEEP) 04.11, Université de Lausanne, Faculté des HEC, DEEP.
  8. Alejandro Esteller-Moré & Albert Solé-Ollé, 2002. "Tax Setting in a Federal System: The Case of Personal Income Taxation in Canada," International Tax and Public Finance, Springer, vol. 9(3), pages 235-257, May.
  9. Goodspeed, Timothy J., 2000. "Tax structure in a federation," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 75(3), pages 493-506, March.
  10. Michael A. Nelson, 2002. "Using Excise Taxes to Finance State Government: Do Neighboring State Taxation Policy and Cross-Border Markets Matter?," Journal of Regional Science, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 42(4), pages 731-752.
  11. Black, Dan A & Hoyt, William H, 1989. "Bidding for Firms," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 79(5), pages 1249-56, December.
  12. Rosanne Altshuler & Timothy J. Goodspeed, 2002. "Follow the Leader? Evidence on European and U.S. Tax Competition," Departmental Working Papers 200226, Rutgers University, Department of Economics.
  13. Wilson, John Douglas, 1999. "Theories of Tax Competition," National Tax Journal, National Tax Association, vol. 52(n. 2), pages 269-304, June.
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Cited by:
  1. Yongzheng Liu & Jorge Martinez-Vazquez, 2011. "Public Input Competition, Stackelberg Equilibrium and Optimality," International Center for Public Policy Working Paper Series, at AYSPS, GSU paper1123, International Center for Public Policy, Andrew Young School of Policy Studies, Georgia State University.

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