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Tax incentives in fiscal federalism: an integrated perspective

  • Christian Kelders
  • Marko Koethenbuerger

Models of fiscal federalism rarely account for the efficiency implications of intergovernmental fiscal ties for federal tax policy. This paper shows that fiscal institutions such that federal tax deductibility, vertical revenue-sharing, and fiscal equalization (being common features of existing federations) encourage local taxation, but may discourage federal taxation. Furthermore, the structure of public spending is skewed towards local spending. We also show that, when considering Leviathan governments, fiscal institutions reduce confiscatory taxation by the federal government. The result is contrary to the Cartelization Hypothesis (Brennan and Buchanan 1980). Finally, we characterize the efficient design of intergovernmental fiscal ties.

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Article provided by Canadian Economics Association in its journal Canadian Journal of Economics.

Volume (Year): 43 (2010)
Issue (Month): 2 (May)
Pages: 683-703

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Handle: RePEc:cje:issued:v:43:y:2010:i:2:p:683-703
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  1. Egger, Peter & Koethenbuerger, Marko & Smart, Michael, 2010. "Do fiscal transfers alleviate business tax competition? Evidence from Germany," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 94(3-4), pages 235-246, April.
  2. Masayoshi Hayashi & Robin Boadway, 2001. "An empirical analysis of intergovernmental tax interaction: the case of business income taxes in Canada," Canadian Journal of Economics, Canadian Economics Association, vol. 34(2), pages 481-503, May.
  3. Michael Smart, 2007. "Raising Taxes through Equalization," CESifo Working Paper Series 1926, CESifo Group Munich.
  4. Metcalf, Gilbert & Feldstein, Martin, 1987. "The Effect of Federal Tax Deductibility on State and Local Taxes and Spending," Scholarly Articles 2766699, Harvard University Department of Economics.
  5. Dahlby, Bev & Wilson, Leonard S., 2003. "Vertical fiscal externalities in a federation," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 87(5-6), pages 917-930, May.
  6. Devereux, Michael P. & Lockwood, Ben & Redoano, Michela, 2004. "Horizontal and Vertical Indirect Tax Competition: Theory and Some Evidence From the USA," CEPR Discussion Papers 4470, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  7. Christos Kotsogiannis, 2007. "Federal Tax Competition and the Efficiency Consequences for Local Taxation of Revenue Equalization," Discussion Papers 0701, Exeter University, Department of Economics.
  8. Chirinko, Robert S. & Fazzari, Steven M. & Meyer, Andrew P., 1999. "How responsive is business capital formation to its user cost?: An exploration with micro data," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 74(1), pages 53-80, October.
  9. Bev Dahlby, 2008. "The Marginal Cost of Public Funds: Theory and Applications," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 0262042509, June.
  10. Sam Bucovetsky & Michael Smart, 2002. "The Efficiency Consequences of Local Revenue Equalization: Tax Competition and Tax Distortions," CESifo Working Paper Series 767, CESifo Group Munich.
  11. Buettner, Thiess & Hauptmeier, Sebastian & Schwager, Robert, 2006. "Efficient Revenue Sharing and Upper Level Governments: Theory and Application to Germany," ZEW Discussion Papers 06-13, ZEW - Zentrum für Europäische Wirtschaftsforschung / Center for European Economic Research.
  12. Sotiris Karkalakos & Christos Kotsogiannis, 2007. "A spatial analysis of provincial corporate income tax responses: evidence from Canada," Canadian Journal of Economics, Canadian Economics Association, vol. 40(3), pages 782-811, August.
  13. Michael Keen & Christos Kotsogiannis, 2003. "Leviathan and Capital Tax Competition in Federations," Journal of Public Economic Theory, Association for Public Economic Theory, vol. 5(2), pages 177-199, 04.
  14. Michael Smart, 1998. "Taxation and Deadweight Loss in a System of Intergovernmental Transfers," Canadian Journal of Economics, Canadian Economics Association, vol. 31(1), pages 189-206, February.
  15. Michael J. Keen & Christos Kotsogiannis, 2002. "Does Federalism Lead to Excessively High Taxes?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 92(1), pages 363-370, March.
  16. Zodrow, George R. & Mieszkowski, Peter, 1986. "Pigou, Tiebout, property taxation, and the underprovision of local public goods," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 19(3), pages 356-370, May.
  17. Riou, Stephane, 2006. "Transfer and tax competition in a system of hierarchical governments," Regional Science and Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 36(2), pages 249-269, March.
  18. Bev Dahlby & Jack Mintz & Sam Wilson, 2000. "The deductibility of provincial business taxes in a federation with vertical fiscal externalities," Canadian Journal of Economics, Canadian Economics Association, vol. 33(3), pages 677-694, August.
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