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The Welfare Effects of Tax Competition Reconsidered: Politicians and Political Institutions

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  • Eckhard Janeba
  • Guttorm Schjelderup

Abstract

The views on the welfare effects of tax competition differ widely. Some see the fiscal externalities as the cause for underprovision of public goods, while others see tax competition as the means of reducing government inefficiencies. Using a comparative politics approach we show that tax competition among presidential-congressional democracies is typically welfare improving, while harmful among parliamentary democracies if under the latter public goods are sufficiently valued. The results hold when politicians seek re-election because of exogenous benefits of holding office. By contrast, when politicians hold office only to extract rents, tax competition is harmful if politicians are sufficiently patient. Copyright © The Author(s). Journal compilation © Royal Economic Society 2009.

Suggested Citation

  • Eckhard Janeba & Guttorm Schjelderup, 2009. "The Welfare Effects of Tax Competition Reconsidered: Politicians and Political Institutions," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 119(539), pages 1143-1161, July.
  • Handle: RePEc:ecj:econjl:v:119:y:2009:i:539:p:1143-1161
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    1. Rauscher, Michael, 1998. "Leviathan and Competition among Jurisdictions: The Case of Benefit Taxation," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 44(1), pages 59-67, July.
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    8. Lorz, Oliver, 1998. "Capital mobility, tax competition, and lobbying for redistributive capital taxation," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 14(2), pages 265-279, May.
    9. Wilson, John Douglas & Wildasin, David E., 2004. "Capital tax competition: bane or boon," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 88(6), pages 1065-1091, June.
    10. Wilson, John Douglas, 1999. "Theories of Tax Competition," National Tax Journal, National Tax Association, vol. 52(2), pages 269-304, June.
    11. Eckhard Janeba & Guttorm Schjelderup, 2002. "Why Europe Should Love Tax Competition - and the U.S. Even More So," NBER Working Papers 9334, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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    Cited by:

    1. Eichner, Thomas & Runkel, Marco, 2011. "Corporate income taxation of multinationals in a general equilibrium model," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 95(7-8), pages 723-733, August.
    2. John D. Wilson, 2015. "Tax Havens in a World of Competing Countries," CESifo DICE Report, Ifo Institute - Leibniz Institute for Economic Research at the University of Munich, vol. 12(4), pages 32-29, 01.
    3. Shafik Hebous, 2014. "Money at the Docks of Tax Havens: A Guide," FinanzArchiv: Public Finance Analysis, Mohr Siebeck, Tübingen, vol. 70(3), pages 458-485, September.
    4. Janeba, Eckhard & Osterloh, Steffen, 2013. "Tax and the city — A theory of local tax competition," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 106(C), pages 89-100.
    5. John D. Wilson, 2015. "Tax Havens in a World of Competing Countries," ifo DICE Report, ifo Institute - Leibniz Institute for Economic Research at the University of Munich, vol. 12(4), pages 32-39, 01.
    6. Osterloh, Steffen & Debus, Marc, 2009. "Partisan politics in corporate tax competition," ZEW Discussion Papers 09-078, ZEW - Zentrum für Europäische Wirtschaftsforschung / Center for European Economic Research.
    7. Osterloh, Steffen & Debus, Marc, 2012. "Partisan politics in corporate taxation," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 28(2), pages 192-207.
    8. Janeba, Eckhard & Wilson, John Douglas, 2011. "Optimal fiscal federalism in the presence of tax competition," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 95(11), pages 1302-1311.
    9. repec:ces:ifodic:v:12:y:2015:i:4:p:19149988 is not listed on IDEAS
    10. Neumann, Rebecca & Holman, Jill & Alm, James, 2009. "Globalization and tax policy," The North American Journal of Economics and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 20(2), pages 193-211, August.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • H24 - Public Economics - - Taxation, Subsidies, and Revenue - - - Personal Income and Other Nonbusiness Taxes and Subsidies

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