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Tax Competition under Minimum Rates: The Case of European Diesel Excises

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  • Michiel Evers
  • Herman R. J. Vollebergh
  • Ruud A. de Mooij

Abstract

This paper estimates Nash-type fiscal reaction functions for European governments competing for revenue from diesel excises. It appears that European governments strategically set their excise levels by responding to their neighbors’ tax rates. This provides evidence for the presence of tax competition in diesel excises. In fact, a 10 percent higher rate in neighboring countries (in terms of the user price) induces a country to raise its own rate by between 2 and 3 percent. This impact is robust for alternative specifications. By imposing restrictions on excise levels, EU harmonization of excises in 1987 and the introduction of a minimum in 1992 exerted a positive impact on the excise level in a number of EU countries. It has not, however, significantly reduced the intensity of tax competition. Indeed, strategic tax responses have not significantly been reduced by these harmonization policies. We also find that high-tax countries appear to compete more aggressively than low-tax countries in the sense that they feature larger strategic tax responses. There is no significant difference between large and small countries.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by CESifo Group Munich in its series CESifo Working Paper Series with number 1221.

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Date of creation: 2004
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:ces:ceswps:_1221

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Keywords: Diesel excise; strategic tax setting; minimum rates; European Union;

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References

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  1. Devereux, Michael P. & Lockwood, Ben & Redoano, Michela, 2008. "Do countries compete over corporate tax rates?," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 92(5-6), pages 1210-1235, June.
  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. Devereux, Michael P & Lockwood, Ben & Redoano, Michela, 2004. "Horizontal and Vertical Indirect Tax Competition: Theory and Some Evidence From the USA," CEPR Discussion Papers 4470, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  4. de Mooij, Ruud A & Ederveen, Sjef, 2003. "Taxation and Foreign Direct Investment: A Synthesis of Empirical Research," International Tax and Public Finance, Springer, vol. 10(6), pages 673-93, November.
  5. Zodrow, George R, 2003. "Tax Competition and Tax Coordination in the European Union," International Tax and Public Finance, Springer, vol. 10(6), pages 651-71, November.
  6. Arik Levinson, 2002. "Environmental Regulatory Competition: A Status Report and Some New Evident," Working Papers gueconwpa~02-02-07, Georgetown University, Department of Economics.
  7. Cnossen,Sijbren, 2002. "Tax policy in the european union, A review of issues and options," Research Memorandum 023, Maastricht University, Maastricht Research School of Economics of Technology and Organization (METEOR).
  8. Sijbren Cnossen, 2002. "Tax Policy in the European Union: A Review of Issues and Options," CESifo Working Paper Series 758, CESifo Group Munich.
  9. Wilson, John Douglas, 1999. "Theories of Tax Competition," National Tax Journal, National Tax Association, vol. 52(n. 2), pages 269-304, June.
  10. Michael P. Devereux & Rachel Griffith & Alexander Klemm, 2002. "Corporate income tax reforms and international tax competition," Economic Policy, CEPR & CES & MSH, vol. 17(35), pages 449-495, October.
  11. Levinson, Arik, 2003. "Environmental Regulatory Competition: A Status Report and Some New Evidence," National Tax Journal, National Tax Association, vol. 56(1), pages 91-106, March.
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Cited by:
  1. Axel Dreher & Tim Krieger, 2004. "Do gasoline prices converge in a unified Europe with non- harmonized tax rates?," International Finance 0411005, EconWPA.
  2. Jon Strand & Michael Keen, 2006. "Indirect Taxeson International Aviation," IMF Working Papers 06/124, International Monetary Fund.
  3. Richard M. Bird, 2004. "Getting it Right: Financing Urban Development in China," International Center for Public Policy Working Paper Series, at AYSPS, GSU paper0435, International Center for Public Policy, Andrew Young School of Policy Studies, Georgia State University.
  4. Jan Jacobs & Jenny Ligthart & Hendrik Vrijburg, 2010. "Consumption tax competition among governments: Evidence from the United States," International Tax and Public Finance, Springer, vol. 17(3), pages 271-294, June.
  5. Federico Revelli, 2005. "On Spatial Public Finance Empirics," International Tax and Public Finance, Springer, vol. 12(4), pages 475-492, August.
  6. De Borger Bruno & Mayeres Inge, 2004. "Taxation of car ownership, car use and public transport: insights derived from a discrete choice numerical optimisation model," Energy, Transport and Environment Working Papers Series ete0413, Katholieke Universiteit Leuven, Centrum voor Economische Studiën, Energy, Transport and Environment.
  7. Charles McLure, 2009. "Taxing commercial motor fuel in the European Union: the case for an apportionment-based, destination-principle system," International Tax and Public Finance, Springer, vol. 16(3), pages 395-414, June.
  8. repec:pdn:wpaper:5 is not listed on IDEAS
  9. Michael Keen & Ian Parry & Jon Strand, 2013. "Planes, ships and taxes: charging for international aviation and maritime emissions," Economic Policy, CEPR & CES & MSH, vol. 28(76), pages 701-749, October.

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