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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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File URL: http://www.cesifo-group.de/portal/page/portal/DocBase_Content/WP/WP-CESifo_Working_Papers/wp-cesifo-2004/wp-cesifo-2004-03/cesifo1_wp1166.pdf
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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. Nielsen, Søren Bo, 1998. "A simple model of commodity taxation and cross-border shopping," Working Papers 13-1998, Copenhagen Business School, Department of Economics.
  2. 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.
  3. Wilson, John D., 1986. "A theory of interregional tax competition," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 19(3), pages 296-315, May.
  4. 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.
  5. Wilson, John Douglas, 1991. "Tax competition with interregional differences in factor endowments," Regional Science and Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 21(3), pages 423-451, November.
  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. Sinn, Hans-Werner, 2004. "The new systems competition," Munich Reprints in Economics 19608, University of Munich, Department of Economics.
  8. Fuest, Clemens & Huber, Bernd & Mintz, Jack, 2005. "Capital Mobility and Tax Competition," Foundations and Trends(R) in Microeconomics, now publishers, vol. 1(1), pages 1-62, December.
  9. 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.
  10. Wilson, John Douglas, 1999. "Theories of Tax Competition," National Tax Journal, National Tax Association, vol. 52(n. 2), pages 269-304, June.
  11. Laux-Meiselbach, Wolfgang, 1988. "Impossibility of exclusion and characteristics of public goods," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 36(1), pages 127-137, June.
  12. 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.
  13. 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.
  14. 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.
  15. 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.
  16. Kurtis J. Swope & Eckhard Janeba, 2001. "Taxes or Fees? The Political Economy of Providing Excludable Public Goods," CESifo Working Paper Series 542, CESifo Group Munich.
  17. Bucovetsky, S., 1991. "Asymmetric tax competition," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 30(2), pages 167-181, September.
  18. Clemens Fuest & Bernd Huber & Jack Mintz, 2003. "Capital Mobility and Tax Competition: A Survey," CESifo Working Paper Series 956, CESifo Group Munich.
  19. Clotfelter, Charles T., 1978. "Private security and the public safety," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 5(3), pages 388-402, July.
  20. Fraser, Clive D., 1996. "On the provision of excludable public goods," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 60(1), pages 111-130, April.
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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. 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.
  2. Jakobsson, Niklas & Nordblom, Katarina, 2009. "Intergovernmental grants and fiscal competition," Working Papers in Economics 338, University of Gothenburg, Department of Economics.
  3. George Economides & Apostolis Philippopoulos, 2012. "Are User Fees Really Regressive?," CESifo Working Paper Series 3875, CESifo Group Munich.

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