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Tax Assignment Revisited

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Abstract

This paper first restates the lessons to be learned from Richard Musgrave’s pioneering discussion of the tax assignment issue. Next, it considers subsequent developments in the theory of fiscal federalism related to the issue of tax assignment. Surprisingly little clear guidance is offered by the theoretical discussion when it comes to the practical policy issues facing any country with respect to tax assignment: what countries do seems to bear little relation to what theory suggests they should do. This point is illustrated this point by a brief review of tax assignments observed around the world in large emerging countries. The tax assignment issue in such countries as India and China is both important and unduly neglected: for the most part, these are still countries in search (whether they know it or not) for a sustainable solution to this problem. The paper concludes with some reflections about what seem to be future possible -- or, perhaps better, needed -- developments with respect to both the theory and practice of tax assignment, again with special reference to large emerging countries.

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File URL: http://icepp.gsu.edu/sites/default/files/documents/icepp/wp/ispwp0805.pdf
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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by International Center for Public Policy, Andrew Young School of Policy Studies, Georgia State University in its series International Center for Public Policy Working Paper Series, at AYSPS, GSU with number paper0805.

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Length: 45 pages
Date of creation: 01 Dec 2008
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:ays:ispwps:paper0805

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Keywords: tax assignment; fiscal federalism; Richard Musgrave; Brazil; India; China; Nigeria; Russia;

This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:

References

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  1. Richard Bird & Andrey Tarasov, 2002. "Closing the Gap: Fiscal Imbalaces and Intergovernmental Transfers in Developed Federations," International Center for Public Policy Working Paper Series, at AYSPS, GSU paper0202, International Center for Public Policy, Andrew Young School of Policy Studies, Georgia State University.
  2. Richard M. Bird & Eric M. Zolt, 2005. "Redistribution via Taxation: The Limited Role of the Personal Income Tax in Developing Countries," International Tax Program Papers 0508, International Tax Program, Institute for International Business, Joseph L. Rotman School of Management, University of Toronto.
  3. Richard M. Bird, 2012. "Subnational Taxation in Large Emerging Countries: BRIC Plus One," International Center for Public Policy Working Paper Series, at AYSPS, GSU paper1201, International Center for Public Policy, Andrew Young School of Policy Studies, Georgia State University.
  4. 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.
  5. Bird, Richard M., 1993. "Threading the Fiscal Labyrinth: Some Issues in Fiscal Decentralization," National Tax Journal, National Tax Association, vol. 46(2), pages 207-27, June.
  6. Lawrence Kenny & Stanley Winer, 2006. "Tax Systems in the World: An Empirical Investigation into the Importance of Tax Bases, Administration Costs, Scale and Political Regime," International Tax and Public Finance, Springer, vol. 13(2), pages 181-215, May.
  7. Michael Smart, 1998. "Taxation and Deadweight Loss in a System of Intergovernmental Transfers," Canadian Journal of Economics, Canadian Economics Association, vol. 31(1), pages 189-206, February.
  8. Olga Lucia Acosta & Richard M. Bird, 2003. "The Dilemma of Decentralization in Colombia," International Tax Program Papers 0404, International Tax Program, Institute for International Business, Joseph L. Rotman School of Management, University of Toronto.
  9. Hettich,Walter & Winer,Stanley L., 2005. "Democratic Choice and Taxation," Cambridge Books, Cambridge University Press, number 9780521021807, October.
  10. Richard A. Musgrave, 1961. "Approaches to a Fiscal Theory of Political Federalism," NBER Chapters, in: Public Finances: Needs, Sources, and Utilization, pages 97-134 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  11. Richard M. Bird & Francois Vaillancourt, 2005. "Changing with the Times: Success, Failure and Inertia in Canadian Federal Arrangements, 1945-2002," International Tax Program Papers 0504, International Tax Program, Institute for International Business, Joseph L. Rotman School of Management, University of Toronto.
  12. Jorge Martinez-Vazquez, 2007. "Revenue Assignments in the Practice of Fiscal Decentralization," International Center for Public Policy Working Paper Series, at AYSPS, GSU paper0709, International Center for Public Policy, Andrew Young School of Policy Studies, Georgia State University.
  13. SALMON, Pierre, 2005. "Horizontal competition among governments," LEG - Document de travail - Economie 2005-02, LEG, Laboratoire d'Economie et de Gestion, CNRS, Université de Bourgogne.
  14. Richard M. Bird, 2006. "Taxing Land and Property in Emerging Economies: Raising Revenue...and More?," International Tax Program Papers 0605, International Tax Program, Institute for International Business, Joseph L. Rotman School of Management, University of Toronto.
  15. Roy Bahl & Jorge Martinez-Vazquez, 2003. "Fiscal Federalism and Economic Reform in China," International Center for Public Policy Working Paper Series, at AYSPS, GSU paper0313, International Center for Public Policy, Andrew Young School of Policy Studies, Georgia State University.
  16. Oates, Wallace E., 2008. "On The Evolution of Fiscal Federalism: Theory and Institutions," National Tax Journal, National Tax Association, vol. 61(2), pages 313-34, June.
  17. Richard M. Bird, 2005. "Taxing Electronic Commerce: The End of the Beginning?," International Tax Program Papers 0502, International Tax Program, Institute for International Business, Joseph L. Rotman School of Management, University of Toronto.
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Cited by:
  1. Llanto, Gilberto M., 2009. "Fiscal Decentralization and Local Finance Reforms in the Philippines," Discussion Papers DP 2009-10, Philippine Institute for Development Studies.

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