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Urban costs, Trade costs and Tax Competition


  • Fabien Candau


This paper presents a model of the New Economic Geography which integrates commuting costs and land rent and displays a dispersion – agglomeration configuration when regional and/or international trade are liberalised. Two main results are found, the first one is that dispersion Pareto dominates agglomeration, the second one is that the agglomeration rent is not bell-shaped but strictly decreasing when impediments to trade are removed. This turns out to be a convenient framework to revisit the links between tax competition, location of firms and trade integration. It is shown in particular that a reduction in trade costs and/or an increase in urban costs leads to a race to the bottom in terms of taxation, and that a tax floor set at the level of the small country may be detrimental to it. Lastly two extensions are done in order to show that i) even under a partial agglomeration of activities, the race to the bottom in terms of taxation is still verified ii) even in a multi-regions model, international trade liberalization generates a race to the bottom when regional trade costs are low enough.

Suggested Citation

  • Fabien Candau, 2008. "Urban costs, Trade costs and Tax Competition," Revue d'économie politique, Dalloz, vol. 118(5), pages 625-661.
  • Handle: RePEc:cai:repdal:redp_185_0625

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    References listed on IDEAS

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    7. Minoru Nakada, 2004. "Does Environmental Policy Necessarily Discourage Growth?," Journal of Economics, Springer, vol. 81(3), pages 249-275, March.
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    Cited by:

    1. Fabien Candau, 2011. "Is Agglomeration Desirable?," Annals of Economics and Statistics, GENES, issue 101-102, pages 203-227.
    2. Fabien CANDAU & Jacques LE CACHEUX, 2017. "Corporate Income Tax as a Genuine own Resource," Working Papers 2016-2017_6, CATT - UPPA - Université de Pau et des Pays de l'Adour, revised Mar 2017.
    3. Anne MUSSON, 2012. "The importance of the stakeholders’ involvement in building indicators. The case of environmental regulation in France," Working Papers 2011-2012_8, CATT - UPPA - Université de Pau et des Pays de l'Adour, revised Apr 2014.


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