Advanced Search
MyIDEAS: Login to save this paper or follow this series

Does Tax Competition Tame the Leviathan?

Contents:

Author Info

  • Marius BRÜLHART
  • Mario JAMETTI

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.hec.unil.ch/deep/textes/07.09.pdf
Download Restriction: no

Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Université de Lausanne, Faculté des HEC, DEEP in its series Cahiers de Recherches Economiques du Département d'Econométrie et d'Economie politique (DEEP) with number 07.09.

as in new window
Length: 37 pages
Date of creation: Sep 2007
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:lau:crdeep:07.09

Contact details of provider:
Postal: Université de Lausanne, Faculté des HEC, DEEP, Internef, CH-1015 Lausanne
Phone: ++41 21 692.33.64
Fax: ++41 21 692.33.05
Email:
Web page: http://www.hec.unil.ch/deep/publications/cahiers/series
More information through EDIRC

Related research

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

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. Frey, Bruno S & Stutzer, Alois, 2000. "Happiness, Economy and Institutions," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 110(466), pages 918-38, October.
  2. 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.
  3. Edwards, Jeremy & Keen, Michael, 1996. "Tax competition and Leviathan," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 40(1), pages 113-134, January.
  4. 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.
  5. John A List & Daniel M Sturm, 2006. "How Elections Matter: Theory and Evidence from Environmental Policy," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 121(4), pages 1249-1281, November.
  6. Michael J. Keen & Christos Kotsogiannis, 2002. "Tax competition in federations and the welfare consequences of decentralization," Discussion Papers 0201, Exeter University, Department of Economics.
  7. Andrea Prat & Oriana Bandiera & Tommaso Valletti, 2007. "Active and Passive Waste in Government Spending: Evidence from a Policy Experiment," Levine's Bibliography 843644000000000100, UCLA Department of Economics.
  8. Farnham, Paul G, 1990. " The Impact of Citizen Influence on Local Government Expenditure," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 64(3), pages 201-12, March.
  9. Bucovetsky, S., 1991. "Asymmetric tax competition," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 30(2), pages 167-181, September.
  10. Caroline Minter Hoxby, 1994. "Does Competition Among Public Schools Benefit Students and Taxpayers?," NBER Working Papers 4979, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  11. Brennan,Geoffrey & Buchanan,James M., 1980. "The Power to Tax," Cambridge Books, Cambridge University Press, number 9780521233293.
  12. John Wilson & Eckhard Janeba, 2003. "Decentralization and International Tax Competition," CESifo Working Paper Series 854, CESifo Group Munich.
  13. Besley, Timothy J. & Case, Anne, 2002. "Political Institutions and Policy Choices: Evidence from the United States," CEPR Discussion Papers 3498, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  14. 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.
  15. Timothy Besley & Stephen Coate, 2000. "Issue Unbundling via Citizens' Initiatives," NBER Working Papers 8036, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  16. Perroni, Carlo & Scharf, Kimberly A, 2001. "Tiebout with Politics: Capital Tax Competition and Constitutional Choices," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 68(1), pages 133-54, January.
  17. Conley, T. G., 1999. "GMM estimation with cross sectional dependence," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 92(1), pages 1-45, September.
  18. 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.
  19. 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.
  20. 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.
  21. 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.
  22. Oates, Wallace E, 1985. "Searching for Leviathan: An Empirical Study," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 75(4), pages 748-57, September.
  23. John G. Matsusaka, 2005. "Direct Democracy Works," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 19(2), pages 185-206, Spring.
  24. 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.
  25. Nelson, Michael A, 1987. "Searching for Leviathan: Comment and Extension," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 77(1), pages 198-204, March.
  26. 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.
  27. 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.
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. Emilie CALDEIRA, 2010. "Yardstick competition in a Federation: Theory and Evidence from China," Working Papers 201018, CERDI.
  2. Luca Salvadori & José María Durán-Cabré & Alejandro Esteller-Moré, 2012. "Regional Competition On Tax Administration," ERSA conference papers ersa12p184, European Regional Science Association.
  3. Mario Jametti & Marcelin Joanis, 2011. "Electoral Competition as a Determinant of Fiscal Decentralization," CESifo Working Paper Series 3574, CESifo Group Munich.
  4. 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.
  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. Joan Costa-i-Font & Filipe De-Albuquerque & Hristos Doucouliagos, 2011. "How Significant are Fiscal Interactions in Federations? A Meta-Regression Analysis," CESifo Working Paper Series 3517, CESifo Group Munich.
  8. Kangsik, Choi, 2009. "Privatization, Government's Preference and Unionization Structure: A Mixed Oligopoly Approach," MPRA Paper 13028, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  9. Nicole Aregger & Martin Brown & Enzo Rossi, 2013. "Transaction Taxes, Capital Gains Taxes and House Prices," Working Papers 2013-02, Swiss National Bank.
  10. Kangsik, Choi, 2009. "Endogenous Timing with Government's Preference and Privatization," MPRA Paper 13844, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  11. 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.

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:lau:crdeep:07.09. 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: (Claudine Delapierre Saudan).

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.