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Why Europe Should Love Tax Competition - and the U.S. Even More So

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  • Eckhard Janeba
  • Guttorm Schjelderup

Abstract

Is global competition for mobile capital harmful (less public goods) or beneficial (less government waste)? This paper combines both aspects within a generalized version of the comparative public finance model (Persson, Roland and Tabellini, 2000) by introducing multiple countries and endogenous tax bases. We consider the role of political institutions and compare parliamentary democracies (Europe) and presidential-congressional systems (USA) to show that increasing tax competition is likely to improve voter welfare, even if public good supply decreases because rents to politicians also fall. The conditions for voter welfare to improve are less stringent under the presidential-congressional system than under parliamentary democracies. Increasing tax competition lowers voter welfare if the only benefit to politicians is to divert resources from the government budget and the future is valued highly.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 9334.

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Date of creation: Nov 2002
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Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:9334

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  1. Brennan,Geoffrey & Buchanan,James M., 2006. "The Power to Tax," Cambridge Books, Cambridge University Press, number 9780521027922, November.
  2. Grossman, Gene & Helpman, Elhanan, 1993. "Protection for Sale," CEPR Discussion Papers 827, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  3. Edwards, Jeremy & Keen, Michael, 1996. "Tax competition and Leviathan," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 40(1), pages 113-134, January.
  4. Persson, Torsten & Tabellini, Guido, 1992. "The Politics of 1992: Fiscal Policy and European Integration," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 59(4), pages 689-701, October.
  5. Besley, Timothy & Case, Anne, 1995. "Incumbent Behavior: Vote-Seeking, Tax-Setting, and Yardstick Competition," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 85(1), pages 25-45, March.
  6. Torsten Persson & Gerard Roland & Guido Tabellini, 2000. "Comparative Politics and Public Finance," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 108(6), pages 1121-1161, December.
  7. Roger H. Gordon & John D. Wilson, 2001. "Expenditure Competition," NBER Working Papers 8189, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  8. Persson, Torsten & Tabellini , Guido, 1997. "Political Economics and Macroeconomic Policy," Seminar Papers 630, Stockholm University, Institute for International Economic Studies.
  9. Lorz, Jens Oliver, 1996. "Capital mobility, tax competition, and lobbying for redistributive capital taxation," Kiel Working Papers 779, Kiel Institute for the World Economy.
  10. Rodrik, Dani, 1996. "Why do More Open Economies Have Bigger Governments?," CEPR Discussion Papers 1388, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  11. Besley, Timothy J. & Smart, Michael, 2002. "Does Tax Competition Raise Voter Welfare?," CEPR Discussion Papers 3131, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  12. Wilson, John D., 1986. "A theory of interregional tax competition," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 19(3), pages 296-315, May.
  13. Wilson, John Douglas, 1999. "Theories of Tax Competition," National Tax Journal, National Tax Association, vol. 52(n. 2), pages 269-304, June Cita.
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Cited by:
  1. Libman, Alexander, 2005. "Взаимодействие Государственных И Частных Структур В Интеграционных Группировах: Теоретические Подходы И Оп," MPRA Paper 17044, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  2. Desai, Mihir A. & Foley, C. Fritz & Hines, James Jr., 2006. "Do tax havens divert economic activity?," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 90(2), pages 219-224, February.
  3. David E. Wildasin, 2006. "Global Competition for Mobile Resources: Implications for Equity, Efficiency and Political Economy," CESifo Economic Studies, CESifo, vol. 52(1), pages 61-110, March.
  4. Eckhard Janeba & Guttorm Schjelderup, 2009. "The Welfare Effects of Tax Competition Reconsidered: Politicians and Political Institutions," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 119(539), pages 1143-1161, 07.
  5. Horacio L. P. Piffano, 2007. "Argentina and Brazil: Fiscal Harmonization and Subnational Sales Taxation – State / Provincial VAT versus State / Provincial Retail Sales Tax," Department of Economics, Working Papers 069, Departamento de Economía, Facultad de Ciencias Económicas, Universidad Nacional de La Plata.
  6. Sharma, Chanchal Kumar, 2010. "Beyond Gaps and Imbalances: Re-Structuring the Debate on Intergovernmental Fiscal Relations," MPRA Paper 32145, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  7. Ronald MacDonald & Paul Hallwood, 2004. "The Economic Case for Fiscal Federalism in Scotland," Working papers 2004-42, University of Connecticut, Department of Economics.
  8. Wolfgang Eggert & Peter Birch Sørensen, 2007. "The Effects of Tax Competition when Politicians Create Rents to Buy Political Support," EPRU Working Paper Series 07-04, Economic Policy Research Unit (EPRU), University of Copenhagen. Department of Economics.
  9. Mihir A. Desai & C. Fritz Foley & James R. Hines, 2004. "Economic Effects of Regional Tax Havens," NBER Working Papers 10806, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  10. Martin Bodenstein & Heinrich Ursprung, 2005. "Political yardstick competition, economic integration, and constitutional choice in a federation:," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 124(3), pages 329-352, September.
  11. Alexander Haupt & Eckhard Janeba, 2003. "Bildung im Zeitalter mobilen Humankapitals," Vierteljahrshefte zur Wirtschaftsforschung / Quarterly Journal of Economic Research, DIW Berlin, German Institute for Economic Research, vol. 72(2), pages 173-187.

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