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Péréquation et comportement stratégique des provinces bénéficiaires : un contre-exemple intrigant

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  • Jean-Thomas Bernard
  • Soufiene Ben Mabrouk

Abstract

The work of Boadway and Hayashi (2001) and Smart (2007) tends to confirm the hypothesis that provinces who are the beneficiaries of equalization payments adopt strategic behaviours that reduce their tax capacity and thus increase these payments. In this study, we analyze the impact that a new hydroelectricity royalty paid by Hydro-Quebec to the Quebec Treasury has on total equalization payments received by the province; to do this, we consider the equalization formulas used before 2004 and after 2007. This royalty, which generates approximately $600 million each year, reduces Quebec's equalization payments by just over $100 million, using either formula. Under the terms of the current equalization formula, Quebec loses 38 cents in equalization rights for each additional dollar of income received from natural resources. The new hydroelectricity royalty and the increase in the dividend rates applied to this government-owned corporation have made it possible for the Quebec government to benefit from a transfer of $1.15 billion; on the other hand it loses $437 million in equalization payments. In this study, we provide and describe an important counter example to the hypothesis concerning the strategic behaviour of provinces that benefit from an equalization scheme.

Suggested Citation

  • Jean-Thomas Bernard & Soufiene Ben Mabrouk, 2010. "Péréquation et comportement stratégique des provinces bénéficiaires : un contre-exemple intrigant," Canadian Public Policy, University of Toronto Press, vol. 36(2), pages 215-225, June.
  • Handle: RePEc:cpp:issued:v:36:y:2010:i:2:p:215-225
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    File URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.3138/cpp.36.2.215
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    1. Thomas J. Courchene & David A. Beavis, 1973. "Federal-Provincial Tax Equalization: An Evaluation," Canadian Journal of Economics, Canadian Economics Association, vol. 6(4), pages 483-502, November.
    2. Michael Smart, 2007. "Raising taxes through equalization," Canadian Journal of Economics, Canadian Economics Association, vol. 40(4), pages 1188-1212, November.
    3. 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.
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