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The Efficiency Consequences of Local Revenue Equalization: Tax Competition and Tax Distortions

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Author Info

  • Sam Bucovetsky
  • Michael Smart

Abstract

This paper shows how a popular system of federal revenue equalization grants can limit tax competition among subnational governments, correct fiscal externalities, and increase government spending. Remarkably, an equalization grant can implement efficient policy choices by regional governments, regardless of a wide variety of differences in regional tax capacity, tastes for public spending, and population. Thus, compared to other corrective devices, equalization achieves “robust” implementation. If aggregate tax bases are elastic, however, equalization leads to excessive taxation. Efficiency can be achieved by a modified formula that equalizes a fraction of local revenue deficiencies equal to the fraction of taxes that are shifted backward to factor suppliers.

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File URL: http://www.cesifo-group.de/portal/page/portal/DocBase_Content/WP/WP-CESifo_Working_Papers/wp-cesifo-2002/wp-cesifo-2002-08/cesifo_wp767.pdf
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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by CESifo Group Munich in its series CESifo Working Paper Series with number 767.

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Date of creation: 2002
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Handle: RePEc:ces:ceswps:_767

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Keywords: tax competition; intergovernmental grants;

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References

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  1. FIGUIÈRES, Charles & HINDRIKS, Jean & MYLES, Gareth D., . "Revenue sharing versus expenditure sharing in a federal system," CORE Discussion Papers RP -1683, Université catholique de Louvain, Center for Operations Research and Econometrics (CORE).
  2. Gary-Bobo, R.J., 1987. "Cournot-Walras and locally consistent equilbria," CORE Discussion Papers, Université catholique de Louvain, Center for Operations Research and Econometrics (CORE) 1987053, Université catholique de Louvain, Center for Operations Research and Econometrics (CORE).
  3. Flatters, Frank & Henderson, Vernon & Mieszkowski, Peter, 1974. "Public goods, efficiency, and regional fiscal equalization," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 3(2), pages 99-112, May.
  4. FIGUIÈRES, Charles & HINDRIKS, Jean & MYLES, Gareth D., 2001. "Revenue sharing versus expenditure sharing," CORE Discussion Papers, Université catholique de Louvain, Center for Operations Research and Econometrics (CORE) 2001015, Université catholique de Louvain, Center for Operations Research and Econometrics (CORE).
  5. 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.
  6. BUCOVETSKY, Sam & MARCHAND, Maurice & PESTIEAU, Pierre, . "Tax competition and revelation of preferences for public expenditure," CORE Discussion Papers RP -1352, Université catholique de Louvain, Center for Operations Research and Econometrics (CORE).
  7. Laussel, Didier & Le Breton, Michel, 1998. "Existence of Nash equilibria in fiscal competition models," Regional Science and Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 28(3), pages 283-296, May.
  8. 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.
  9. 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.
  10. Wildasin, David E., 1989. "Interjurisdictional capital mobility: Fiscal externality and a corrective subsidy," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 25(2), pages 193-212, March.
  11. Masayoshi Hayashi & Robin Boadway, 2001. "An empirical analysis of intergovernmental tax interaction: the case of business income taxes in Canada," Canadian Journal of Economics, Canadian Economics Association, vol. 34(2), pages 481-503, May.
  12. Charles M. Tiebout, 1956. "A Pure Theory of Local Expenditures," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, University of Chicago Press, vol. 64, pages 416.
  13. Bucovetsky, S., 1991. "Asymmetric tax competition," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 30(2), pages 167-181, September.
  14. DePeter James A. & Myers Gordon M., 1994. "Strategic Capital Tax Competition: A Pecuniary Externality and a Corrective Device," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 36(1), pages 66-78, July.
  15. Michael J. Keen & Christos Kotsogiannis, 2002. "Does Federalism Lead to Excessively High Taxes?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 92(1), pages 363-370, March.
  16. 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.
  17. Wilson, John D., 1986. "A theory of interregional tax competition," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 19(3), pages 296-315, May.
  18. Yingyi Qian & Barry R. Weingast, 1997. "Federalism as a Commitment to Preserving Market Incentives," Working Papers, Stanford University, Department of Economics 97042, Stanford University, Department of Economics.
  19. Wildasin, David E, 1991. "Income Redistribution in a Common Labor Market," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 81(4), pages 757-74, September.
  20. Brennan,Geoffrey & Buchanan,James M., 1980. "The Power to Tax," Cambridge Books, Cambridge University Press, number 9780521233293, 9.
  21. Wilson, John Douglas, 1999. "Theories of Tax Competition," National Tax Journal, National Tax Association, vol. 52(n. 2), pages 269-304, June.
  22. Card, David & Payne, A. Abigail, 2002. "School finance reform, the distribution of school spending, and the distribution of student test scores," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 83(1), pages 49-82, January.
  23. Robin W. Boadway & Frank R. Flatters, 1982. "Efficiency and Equalization Payments in a Federal System of Government: A Synthesis and Extension of Recent Results," Canadian Journal of Economics, Canadian Economics Association, vol. 15(4), pages 613-33, November.
  24. 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.
  25. Marko Köthenbürger, 2002. "Tax Competition and Fiscal Equalization," International Tax and Public Finance, Springer, vol. 9(4), pages 391-408, August.
  26. repec:fth:louvco:0115 is not listed on IDEAS
  27. Kehoe, Patrick J, 1989. "Policy Cooperation among Benevolent Governments May Be Undesirable," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 56(2), pages 289-96, April.
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  1. Heizt der Finanzausgleich den Steuerwettbewerb an?
    by admin in BATZ.ch on 2010-05-16 21:01:57
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