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Strategic Tax Collection and Fiscal Decentralization: The Case of Russia

  • Alexander Libman
  • Lars P. Feld

In a centralized federation, where tax rates and taxation rules are set by the federal govern-ment, manipulating the thoroughness of tax auditing and the effectiveness of tax collection could be attractive for regional authorities because of a variety of reasons. These range from tax competition to principal-agent problems, state capture and benefits of fiscal equalisation. In this paper we discuss strategic tax auditing and collection from the perspective of fiscal federalism and test for strategic tax collection empirically using data of the Russian Federa-tion. Russia?s regional authorities in the 1990s have always been suspect of tax auditing ma-nipulations in their favour. However, in the 2000s increasing bargaining power of the centre seems to induce tax collection bodies in the regions to manipulate tax auditing in favour of the federation. We find partial evidence in favour of both of these hypotheses.

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Article provided by Verein für Socialpolitik in its journal German Economic Review.

Volume (Year): 14 (2013)
Issue (Month): 4 (November)
Pages: 449-482

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Handle: RePEc:bla:germec:v:14:y:2013:i:4:p:449-482
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  1. Rudiger Ahrend, 2005. "Speed of Reform, Initial Conditions or Political Orientation? Explaining Russian Regions' Economic Performance," Post-Communist Economies, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 17(3), pages 289-317.
  2. Ponomareva, Maria & Zhuravskaya, Ekaterina, 2004. "Federal Tax Arrears in Russia: Liquidity Problems, Federal Redistribution or Russian Resistance?," CEPR Discussion Papers 4267, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  3. Maria Ponomareva & Ekaterina Zhuravskaya, 2004. "Federal tax arrears in Russia "Liquidity problems, federal redistribution or regional resistance?"," The Economics of Transition, The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, vol. 12(3), pages 373-398, 09.
  4. Roger Congleton & Andreas Kyriacou & Jordi Bacaria, 2003. "A Theory of Menu Federalism: Decentralization by Political Agreement," Constitutional Political Economy, Springer, vol. 14(3), pages 167-190, September.
  5. Cai, Hongbin & Treisman, Daniel, 2004. "State corroding federalism," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 88(3-4), pages 819-843, March.
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