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Explaining European Patterns of Taxation: From the Introduction of the Euro to the Euro-Crisis

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  • Mark Hallerberg

Abstract

This paper reviews developments in Europe from the eve of the introduction of the euro through the euro crisis. The paper begins with a discussion of the tax reform agenda. Although there are differences in the literature on specific taxes, and while European countries vary in their preferred levels of taxation, there is general consensus on the shape reforms should take. The paper then discusses the evolution of tax systems with the overall agenda in mind. It is found that overall revenue levels were broadly stable until just before the crisis, but marginal rates in corporate and top personal income declined almost continuously. During the crisis, however, this trend ended, with countries in the greatest fiscal difficulties raising tax rates and tax burdens. The last section provides a short analysis of why there were reforms in some countries but not others. Key variables include tax competition among member states, partisanship, underlying preferences in the population for redistribution, and the number of partisan veto players.

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Paper provided by Inter-American Development Bank, Research Department in its series Research Department Publications with number 4777.

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Date of creation: May 2012
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Handle: RePEc:idb:wpaper:4777

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  1. Sinn, Hans-Werner, 1990. "Tax harmonization and tax competition in Europe," Munich Reprints in Economics 19846, University of Munich, Department of Economics.
  2. Michael Keen & Alexander Klemm & Victoria Perry, 2010. "Tax and the Crisis," Fiscal Studies, Institute for Fiscal Studies, vol. 31(1), pages 43-79, 03.
  3. 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.
  4. Heinemann, Friedrich & Overesch, Michael & Rincke, Johannes, 2008. "Rate Cutting Tax Reforms and Corporate Tax Competition in Europe," ZEW Discussion Papers 08-028, ZEW - Zentrum für Europäische Wirtschaftsforschung / Center for European Economic Research.
  5. European Commission, 2011. "Taxation trends in the European Union: 2011 edition," Taxation trends 2011, Directorate General Taxation and Customs Union, European Commission.
  6. Luigi, Bernardi, 2011. "Economic crisis and taxation in Europe," MPRA Paper 31007, University Library of Munich, Germany.
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