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Paternalism and Tax Competition


  • Kaisa Kotakorpi


When consumers make mistakes, the government may wish to use paternalistic taxation as a corrective measure. We analyse the extent to which tax competition undermines the feasibility of paternalistic taxation. We show that the paternalistic component of a tax on a harmful good is reduced when there is cross-border shopping, but it does not disappear altogether. In a model with tax competition between two countries, only one of which has a paternalistic objective, we show that a minimum tax rate requirement can be Pareto improving despite the divergence in policy objectives. Tax harmonization, however, reduces welfare in the non-paternalistic country. Copyright © The editors of the "Scandinavian Journal of Economics" 2009 .

Suggested Citation

  • Kaisa Kotakorpi, 2009. "Paternalism and Tax Competition," Scandinavian Journal of Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 111(1), pages 125-149, March.
  • Handle: RePEc:bla:scandj:v:111:y:2009:i:1:p:125-149

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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Schnellenbach, Jan, 2012. "Nudges and norms: On the political economy of soft paternalism," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 28(2), pages 266-277.
    2. David Laibson, 1997. "Golden Eggs and Hyperbolic Discounting," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 112(2), pages 443-478.

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