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Federal tax arrears in Russia "Liquidity problems, federal redistribution or regional resistance?"

  • Maria Ponomareva
  • Ekaterina Zhuravskaya

Three hypotheses about the nature of federal tax arrears in Russia in the second half of the 1990s are tested empirically. Tax arrears can be a result of: 1) liquidity problems in firms, 2) redistributive subsidies of the federal government, or 3) regional political resistance to federal tax collectors. Liquidity problems in firms explain a large part of the variation in tax arrears. Regional political resistance to federal tax collectors was also an important factor: For a given level of liquidity, federal arrears accumulated faster in regions where governors had a larger popular base, in regions with a better bargaining position "vis-à-vis" the centre, and in regions with governors in political opposition to the centre. We find that patterns of federal arrears are inconsistent with the redistributive politics premise that redistribution favours jurisdictions with 'closer races' for the incumbent in the national elections. Variation in authorized tax deferrals can be explained in part by federal redistributive politics. Copyright (c) The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, 2004.

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Article provided by The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development in its journal Economics of Transition.

Volume (Year): 12 (2004)
Issue (Month): 3 (09)
Pages: 373-398

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Handle: RePEc:bla:etrans:v:12:y:2004:i:3:p:373-398
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