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Equalization and the Decentralization of Revenue-Raising in a Federation

  • Robin Boadway

    (Queen's University, Canada,)

  • Katherine Cuff
  • Maurice Marchand

We study federal economies in which regional governments have responsibility for delivering public services and redistributive objectives apply. The implications of these for the assignment of revenue-raising instruments and fiscal transfers, both vertical and horizontal, are considered. Models of heterogeneous regions of varying degrees of complexity and generality are constructed. For each case, we determine what fiscal instruments must be given to the regions and what intergovernmental transfers must be made in order that the social optimum is achieved. With heterogenous households and regions, the social optimum can be decentralized by making regions responsible for redistribution and implementing equalization transfers that depend on the number of households of each type. Copyright 2003 Blackwell Publishing Inc..

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Article provided by Association for Public Economic Theory in its journal Journal of Public Economic Theory.

Volume (Year): 5 (2003)
Issue (Month): 2 (04)
Pages: 201-228

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Handle: RePEc:bla:jpbect:v:5:y:2003:i:2:p:201-228
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  1. Lockwood, Ben, 2001. "Tax competition and tax co-ordination under destination and origin principles: a synthesis," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 81(2), pages 279-319, August.
  2. Bev Dahlby, 1996. "Fiscal externalities and the design of intergovernmental grants," International Tax and Public Finance, Springer, vol. 3(3), pages 397-412, July.
  3. Robin W. Boadway & Frank R. Flatters, 1982. "Efficiency and Equalization Payments in a Federal System of Government: A Synthesis and Extension of Recent Results," Canadian Journal of Economics, Canadian Economics Association, vol. 15(4), pages 613-33, November.
  4. Myers, Gordon M. & Papageorgiou, Yorgos Y., 1997. "Efficient Nash equilibria in a federal economy with migration costs," Regional Science and Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 27(4-5), pages 345-371, August.
  5. Boadway, R & Keen, M, 1996. "Efficiency and the optimal direction of federal-state transfers," IFS Working Papers W96/01, Institute for Fiscal Studies.
  6. Myers, Gordon M., 1990. "Optimality, free mobility, and the regional authority in a federation," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 43(1), pages 107-121, October.
  7. Flatters, Frank & Henderson, Vernon & Mieszkowski, Peter, 1974. "Public goods, efficiency, and regional fiscal equalization," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 3(2), pages 99-112, May.
  8. Buchanan, James M. & Goetz, Charles J., 1972. "Efficiency limits of fiscal mobility: An assessment of the tiebout model," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 1(1), pages 25-43, April.
  9. BOADWAY, Robin & MARCHAND, Maurice & VIGNEAULT, Marianne, 1998. "The consequences of overlapping tax bases for redistribution and public spending in a federation," CORE Discussion Papers 1998003, Université catholique de Louvain, Center for Operations Research and Econometrics (CORE).
  10. Boadway, Robin, 1982. "On the Method of Taxation and the Provision of Local Public Goods: Comment," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 72(4), pages 846-51, September.
  11. Wellisch, Dietmar, 1994. "Interregional spillovers in the presence of perfect and imperfect household mobility," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 55(2), pages 167-184, October.
  12. Myers, G.M. & Mansoorian, A., 1995. "On the Consequences of Government Objectives for Economies with Mobile Populations," Papers 95-2, York (Canada) - Department of Economics.
  13. Torsten Persson & Guido Tabellini, . "Political Economics and Public Finance," Working Papers 149, IGIER (Innocenzo Gasparini Institute for Economic Research), Bocconi University.
  14. Caplan, Arthur J. & Cornes, Richard C. & Silva, Emilson C. D., 2000. "Pure public goods and income redistribution in a federation with decentralized leadership and imperfect labor mobility," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 77(2), pages 265-284, August.
  15. Mansoorian, Arman & Myers, Gordon M., 1993. "Attachment to home and efficient purchases of population in a fiscal externality economy," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 52(1), pages 117-132, August.
  16. David E. Wildasin, 2005. "Fiscal Competition," Working Papers 2005-05, University of Kentucky, Institute for Federalism and Intergovernmental Relations.
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