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Tax competition and the move from insurance to assistance

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  • Michaël Zemmour

    ()
    (CES - Centre d'économie de la Sorbonne - CNRS : UMR8174 - Université Paris I - Panthéon-Sorbonne)

Abstract

The funding of social protection has strongly evolved in Bismarckian countries : whereas social protection used to rely on social contributions, since the 1990s most of the new expenditures have been funded through taxation, leading to a more balanced mix in the structure of social protection revenue. I propose a formal model in which two social protection systems may coexist: insurance and assistance. Insurance level is set by consensus between firms and unions, whereas assistance expenditures are set by a majority vote in parliament. Social insurance can be manipulated to influence preferences in respect of assistance. It is shown how an exogenous increase in tax competition in a Bismarckian context can lead to the emergence of a mixed model: assistance increases to complement existing insurance, not to replace it. A time series cross-section analysis on 9 countries over 25 years supports the idea that a drop in corporate tax rates can trigger a shift in the tax structure of social protection funding.

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Paper provided by HAL in its series Université Paris1 Panthéon-Sorbonne (Post-Print and Working Papers) with number halshs-00768909.

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Date of creation: Dec 2012
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Handle: RePEc:hal:cesptp:halshs-00768909

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Keywords: Assistance; institutional change; insurance; political economy; tax-competition; veto;

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