Advanced Search
MyIDEAS: Login

Does Tax Competition Tame the Leviathan?

Contents:

Author Info

  • Brülhart, Marius
  • Jametti, Mario

Abstract

We study the impact of tax competition on equilibrium taxes and welfare, focusing on the jurisdictional fragmentation of federations. In a representative-agent model of fiscal federalism, fragmentation among jurisdictions with benevolent tax-setting authorities unambiguously reduces welfare. If, however, tax-setting authorities pursue revenue maximization, fragmentation, by pushing down equilibrium tax rates, may under certain conditions increase citizen welfare. We exploit the highly decentralized and heterogeneous Swiss fiscal system as a laboratory for the estimation of these effects. While for purely direct-democratic jurisdictions (which we associate with benevolent tax setting) we find that tax rates increase in fragmentation, fragmentation has a moderating effect on the tax rates of jurisdictions with some degree of delegated government. Our results thereby support the view that tax competition can be second-best welfare enhancing by constraining the scope for public-sector revenue maximization.

Download Info

If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.
File URL: http://www.cepr.org/pubs/dps/DP6512.asp
Download Restriction: CEPR Discussion Papers are free to download for our researchers, subscribers and members. If you fall into one of these categories but have trouble downloading our papers, please contact us at subscribers@cepr.org

As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to look for a different version under "Related research" (further below) or search for a different version of it.

Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers in its series CEPR Discussion Papers with number 6512.

as in new window
Length:
Date of creation: Oct 2007
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:cpr:ceprdp:6512

Contact details of provider:
Postal: Centre for Economic Policy Research, 77 Bastwick Street, London EC1V 3PZ.
Phone: 44 - 20 - 7183 8801
Fax: 44 - 20 - 7183 8820

Order Information:
Email:

Related research

Keywords: direct democracy; fiscal federalism; government preferences; optimal taxation; tax competition;

Other versions of this item:

Find related papers by JEL classification:

This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:

References

References listed on IDEAS
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
as in new window
  1. John A. List & Daniel M. Sturm, 2004. "How Elections Matter: Theory and Evidence from Environmental Policy," NBER Working Papers 10609, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. Bruno S. Frey & Alois Stutzer, 2000. "Happiness, Economy and Institutions," CESifo Working Paper Series 246, CESifo Group Munich.
  3. Carlo Perroni & Kimberley A. Scharf, . "Tiebout with Politics: Capital Tax Competition and Constitutional Choices," EPRU Working Paper Series 97-05, Economic Policy Research Unit (EPRU), University of Copenhagen. Department of Economics.
  4. Romer, Thomas & Rosenthal, Howard, 1982. "Median Voters or Budget Maximizers: Evidence from School Expenditure Referenda," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 20(4), pages 556-78, October.
  5. Caroline M. Hoxby, 2000. "Does Competition among Public Schools Benefit Students and Taxpayers?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 90(5), pages 1209-1238, December.
  6. Epple, Dennis & Nechyba, Thomas, 2004. "Fiscal decentralization," Handbook of Regional and Urban Economics, in: J. V. Henderson & J. F. Thisse (ed.), Handbook of Regional and Urban Economics, edition 1, volume 4, chapter 55, pages 2423-2480 Elsevier.
  7. Bucovetsky, S., 1991. "Asymmetric tax competition," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 30(2), pages 167-181, September.
  8. Lars P. Feld & Gebhard Kirchgaessner & Christoph A. Schaltegger, 2010. "Decentralized Taxation and the Size of Government: Evidence from Swiss State and Local Governments," Southern Economic Journal, Southern Economic Association, vol. 77(1), pages 27-48, July.
  9. Besley, Timothy J. & Coate, Stephen, 2001. "Issue Unbundling via Citizens' initiatives," CEPR Discussion Papers 2857, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  10. Keen, Michael J. & Kotsogiannis, Christos, 2004. "Tax competition in federations and the welfare consequences of decentralization," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 56(3), pages 397-407, November.
  11. Oates, Wallace E, 1985. "Searching for Leviathan: An Empirical Study," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 75(4), pages 748-57, September.
  12. Tim Besley, 2002. "Political institutions and policy choices: evidence from the United States," IFS Working Papers W02/13, Institute for Fiscal Studies.
  13. Oriana Bandiera & Andrea Prat & Tommaso Valletti, 2008. "Active and Passive Waste in Government Spending: Evidence from a Policy Experiment," CEIS Research Paper 115, Tor Vergata University, CEIS, revised 14 Jul 2008.
  14. Wilson, John Douglas & Janeba, Eckhard, 2005. "Decentralization and international tax competition," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 89(7), pages 1211-1229, July.
  15. Feld, Lars P. & Matsusaka, John G., 2003. "Budget referendums and government spending: evidence from Swiss cantons," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 87(12), pages 2703-2724, December.
  16. Brennan,Geoffrey & Buchanan,James M., 1980. "The Power to Tax," Cambridge Books, Cambridge University Press, number 9780521233293, October.
  17. Schwartz, Aba, 1973. "Interpreting the Effect of Distance on Migration," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 81(5), pages 1153-69, Sept.-Oct.
  18. Farnham, Paul G, 1990. " The Impact of Citizen Influence on Local Government Expenditure," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 64(3), pages 201-12, March.
  19. Jeremy Edwards & Michael Keen, 1994. "Tax competition and Leviathon," IFS Working Papers W94/07, Institute for Fiscal Studies.
  20. 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.
  21. Michael Keen & Christos Kotsogiannis, 2003. "Leviathan and Capital Tax Competition in Federations," Journal of Public Economic Theory, Association for Public Economic Theory, vol. 5(2), pages 177-199, 04.
  22. Nelson, Michael A, 1987. "Searching for Leviathan: Comment and Extension," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 77(1), pages 198-204, March.
  23. John Joseph Wallis & Wallace E. Oates, 1988. "Decentralization in the Public Sector: An Empirical Study of State and Local Government," NBER Chapters, in: Fiscal Federalism: Quantitative Studies, pages 5-32 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  24. Forbes, Kevin F & Zampelli, Ernest M, 1989. "Is Leviathan a Mythical Beast?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 79(3), pages 568-77, June.
  25. John G. Matsusaka, 2005. "Direct Democracy Works," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 19(2), pages 185-206, Spring.
  26. 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.
  27. Conley, T. G., 1999. "GMM estimation with cross sectional dependence," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 92(1), pages 1-45, September.
Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

Citations

Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.
as in new window

Cited by:
  1. Nicole Aregger & Martin Brown & Enzo Rossi, 2013. "Transaction Taxes, Capital Gains Taxes and House Prices," Working Papers 2013-02, Swiss National Bank.
  2. Kangsik, Choi, 2009. "Endogenous Timing with Government's Preference and Privatization," MPRA Paper 13844, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  3. Emilie CALDEIRA, 2010. "Yardstick competition in a Federation: Theory and Evidence from China," Working Papers 201018, CERDI.
  4. Mario Jametti, 2014. "Tax Competition and Direct Democracy in Local Public Finance - Empirical Work on Switzerland," CESifo DICE Report, Ifo Institute for Economic Research at the University of Munich, vol. 12(1), pages 12-17, 04.
  5. Eugster, Beatrix & Parchet, Raphaël, 2013. "Culture and Taxes: Towards Identifying Tax Competition," Economics Working Paper Series 1339, University of St. Gallen, School of Economics and Political Science.
  6. Mario Jametti, 2014. "Weathering the Global Financial Crisis - Is Direct Democracy of any Help?," IdEP Economic Papers 1405, USI Università della Svizzera italiana.
  7. Mario Jametti & Marcelin Joanis, 2011. "Electoral Competition as a Determinant of Fiscal Decentralization," Quaderni della facoltà di Scienze economiche dell'Università di Lugano 1107, USI Università della Svizzera italiana.
  8. Luca Salvadori & José María Durán-Cabré & Alejandro Esteller-Moré, 2012. "Regional Competition On Tax Administration," ERSA conference papers ersa12p184, European Regional Science Association.
  9. Joan Costa-i-Font & Filipe De-Albuquerque & Hristos Doucouliagos, 2011. "How significant are fiscal interactions in federations?: a meta-regression analysis," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 37536, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
  10. Kangsik, Choi, 2009. "Privatization, Government's Preference and Unionization Structure: A Mixed Oligopoly Approach," MPRA Paper 13028, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  11. Choi, Kangsik, 2009. "Government's Preference and Timing of Endogenous Wage Setting: Perspectives on Privatization and Mixed Duopoly," MPRA Paper 17221, University Library of Munich, Germany.

Lists

This item is not listed on Wikipedia, on a reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.

Statistics

Access and download statistics

Corrections

When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:cpr:ceprdp:6512. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: ().

If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.

If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.

If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.