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A Theory of User-Fee Competition

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  • Clemens Fuest
  • Martin Kolmar

Abstract

We develop a two-region model where the decentralized provision of spillover goods can be financed by means of taxes or user fees. In order to enforce the fees regions have to invest in exclusion. We show that a decentralized solution tends to be inefficient. There will be over-investment in exclusion and an underprovision of the spillover goods compared to a centralized solution. In addition the regions have strategic incentives to set user charges. If the regional spillover goods are substitutes user fees tend to be inefficiently low, whereas they tend to be inefficiently high if the spillover goods are complements.

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Paper provided by CESifo Group Munich in its series CESifo Working Paper Series with number 1166.

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Date of creation: 2004
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Handle: RePEc:ces:ceswps:_1166

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Keywords: public goods; club goods; user fees; fiscal federalism;

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References

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  1. Hans-Werner Sinn, 2002. "The New Systems Competition," NBER Working Papers 8747, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. Wilson, John Douglas, 1999. "Theories of Tax Competition," National Tax Journal, National Tax Association, vol. 52(n. 2), pages 269-304, June.
  3. Fuest, Clemens & Huber, Bernd & Mintz, Jack, 2005. "Capital mobility and tax competition," Munich Reprints in Economics 20329, University of Munich, Department of Economics.
  4. Ravi Kanbur & Michael Keen, 1991. "Jeux Sans Frontieres: Tax Competition and Tax Coordination when Countries Differ in Size," Working Papers 819, Queen's University, Department of Economics.
  5. Steven Shavell & A. Mitchell Polinsky, 2000. "The Economic Theory of Public Enforcement of Law," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 38(1), pages 45-76, March.
  6. MINTZ, Jack & TULKENS, Henry, . "Commodity tax competition between member states of a federation: equilibrium and efficiency," CORE Discussion Papers RP -693, Université catholique de Louvain, Center for Operations Research and Econometrics (CORE).
  7. Clotfelter, Charles T, 1977. "Public Services, Private Substitutes, and the Demand for Protection against Crime," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 67(5), pages 867-77, December.
  8. Kurtis J. Swope & Eckhard Janeba, 2005. "Taxes or Fees? The Political Economy of Providing Excludable Public Goods," Journal of Public Economic Theory, Association for Public Economic Theory, vol. 7(3), pages 405-426, 08.
  9. Nielsen, Søren Bo, 1998. "A simple model of commodity taxation and cross-border shopping," Working Papers 13-1998, Copenhagen Business School, Department of Economics.
  10. Brito, Dagobert L & Oakland, William H, 1980. "On the Monopolistic Provision of Excludable Public Goods," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 70(4), pages 691-704, September.
  11. Bond, E.W. & Samuelson, L., 1988. "Strategic Behavior And The Rules For International Taxation Of Capital," Papers 3-88-10, Pennsylvania State - Department of Economics.
  12. Clemens Fuest & Bernd Huber & Jack Mintz, 2003. "Capital Mobility and Tax Competition: A Survey," CESifo Working Paper Series 956, CESifo Group Munich.
  13. Wilson, John D., 1986. "A theory of interregional tax competition," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 19(3), pages 296-315, May.
  14. Zodrow, George R. & Mieszkowski, Peter, 1986. "Pigou, Tiebout, property taxation, and the underprovision of local public goods," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 19(3), pages 356-370, May.
  15. Laux-Meiselbach, Wolfgang, 1988. "Impossibility of exclusion and characteristics of public goods," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 36(1), pages 127-137, June.
  16. Clotfelter, Charles T., 1978. "Private security and the public safety," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 5(3), pages 388-402, July.
  17. Bucovetsky, S., 1991. "Asymmetric tax competition," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 30(2), pages 167-181, September.
  18. Fraser, Clive D., 1996. "On the provision of excludable public goods," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 60(1), pages 111-130, April.
  19. Wilson, J.D., 1990. "Tax Competition With Interregional Differences In Factor Endowments," Working Papers 4, John Deutsch Institute for the Study of Economic Policy.
  20. Bucovetsky, Sam & Wilson, John Douglas, 1991. "Tax competition with two tax instruments," Regional Science and Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 21(3), pages 333-350, November.
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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. George Economides & Apostolis Philippopoulos, 2012. "Are User Fees Really Regressive?," CESifo Working Paper Series 3875, CESifo Group Munich.
  2. Jakobsson, Niklas & Nordblom, Katarina, 2009. "Intergovernmental grants and fiscal competition," Working Papers in Economics 338, University of Gothenburg, Department of Economics.
  3. Clemens Fuest & Martin Kolmar, 2013. "Endogenous free riding and the decentralized user-fee financing of spillover goods in a n-region economy," International Tax and Public Finance, Springer, vol. 20(2), pages 169-191, April.

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