IDEAS home Printed from
MyIDEAS: Log in (now much improved!) to save this article

Tax competition in a fiscal union with decentralized leadership

  • Kothenburger, Marko

This paper examines capital tax competition in the presence of an interstate transfer policy without federal commitment. Lack of commitment implies that tax policy is chosen prior to federal transfers. The paper’s main result is that ex-post federal policy internalizes horizontal fiscal externalities, insulating tax policy from capital mobility. Federal policy, however, introduces a new source of inefficiency unrelated to tax competition. Specifically, ex-post transfer payments prove to be equivalent to an interstate revenue-sharing system which may render federal intervention in the presence of fiscal externalities welfare-deteriorating relative to tax competition.

(This abstract was borrowed from another version of this item.)

If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.

File URL:
Download Restriction: Full text for ScienceDirect subscribers only

As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to look for a different version under "Related research" (further below) or search for a different version of it.

Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Journal of Urban Economics.

Volume (Year): 55 (2004)
Issue (Month): 3 (May)
Pages: 498-513

in new window

Handle: RePEc:eee:juecon:v:55:y:2004:i:3:p:498-513
Contact details of provider: Web page:

References listed on IDEAS
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:

as in new window
  1. Wildasin, David E., 1997. "Externalities and bailouts : hard and soft budget constraints in intergovernmental fiscal relations," Policy Research Working Paper Series 1843, The World Bank.
  2. Hoyt, William H., 2001. "Tax Policy Coordination, Vertical Externalities, and Optimal Taxation in a System of Hierarchical Governments," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 50(3), pages 491-516, November.
  3. Bucovetsky, Sam & Wilson, John Douglas, 1991. "Tax competition with two tax instruments," Regional Science and Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 21(3), pages 333-350, November.
  4. 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.
  5. Patrick J. Kehoe, 1989. "Policy Cooperation Among Benevolent Governments May Be Undesirable," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 56(2), pages 289-296.
  6. Eckhard Janeba, 2000. "Tax Competition When Governments Lack Commitment: Excess Capacity as a Countervailing Threat," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 90(5), pages 1508-1519, December.
  7. Poterba, James M., 1995. "Capital budgets, borrowing rules, and state capital spending," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 56(2), pages 165-187, February.
  8. BOADWAY, Robin & MARCHAND, Maurice & VIGNEAULT, Marianne, . "The consequences of overlapping tax bases for redistribution and public spending in a federation," CORE Discussion Papers RP 1326, Université catholique de Louvain, Center for Operations Research and Econometrics (CORE).
  9. Qian, Yingyi & Roland, Gerard, 1998. "Federalism and the Soft Budget Constraint," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 88(5), pages 1143-62, December.
  10. Myers & G.M., 1989. "Optimality, Free Mobility And The Regional Authority In Federation," Working Papers 10, John Deutsch Institute for the Study of Economic Policy.
  11. Wildasin, David E., 1989. "Interjurisdictional capital mobility: Fiscal externality and a corrective subsidy," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 25(2), pages 193-212, March.
  12. 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.
  13. 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.
  14. Kjetil Bjorvatn & Guttorm Schjelderup, 2002. "Tax Competition and International Public Goods," International Tax and Public Finance, Springer;International Institute of Public Finance, vol. 9(2), pages 111-120, March.
  15. John F. Helliwell & Ross McKitrick, 1998. "Comparing Capital Mobility Across Provincial and National Borders," NBER Working Papers 6624, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  16. Caplan, Arthur J. & Silva, Emilson C. D., 1999. "Federal Acid Rain Games," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 46(1), pages 25-52, July.
  17. Mitsui, Kiyoshi & Sato, Motohiro, 2001. "Ex ante free mobility, ex post immobility, and time consistency in a federal system," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 82(3), pages 445-460, December.
  18. DePeter James A. & Myers Gordon M., 1994. "Strategic Capital Tax Competition: A Pecuniary Externality and a Corrective Device," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 36(1), pages 66-78, July.
  19. Jonathan A. Rodden & Gunnar S. Eskeland (ed.), 2003. "Fiscal Decentralization and the Challenge of Hard Budget Constraints," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 0262182297, December.
  20. Boadway, R & Keen, M, 1996. "Efficiency and the optimal direction of federal-state transfers," IFS Working Papers W96/01, Institute for Fiscal Studies.
  21. Carlo Perroni & Kimberley A. Scharf, . "Tiebout with Politics: Capital Tax Competition and Constitutional Choices," EPRU Working Paper Series 97-05, Economic Policy Research Unit (EPRU), University of Copenhagen. Department of Economics.
  22. Persson, Torsten & Tabellini, Guido, 1991. "The Politics of 1992: Fiscal Policy and European Integration," CEPR Discussion Papers 501, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  23. Wellisch,Dietmar, 2000. "Theory of Public Finance in a Federal State," Cambridge Books, Cambridge University Press, number 9780521630351, November.
  24. Robin W. Boadway & Frank R. Flatters, 1982. "Efficiency and Equalization Payments in a Federal System of Government: A Synthesis and Extension of Recent Results," Canadian Journal of Economics, Canadian Economics Association, vol. 15(4), pages 613-33, November.
  25. 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.
  26. Marko Köthenbürger, 2002. "Tax Competition and Fiscal Equalization," International Tax and Public Finance, Springer;International Institute of Public Finance, vol. 9(4), pages 391-408, August.
  27. Silva, Emilson C. D. & Caplan, Arthur J., 1997. "Transboundary Pollution Control in Federal Systems," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 34(2), pages 173-186, October.
  28. Michael Keen, 1997. "Vertical Tax Externalities in the Theory of Fiscal Federalism," IMF Working Papers 97/173, International Monetary Fund.
  29. Cremer, Helmuth & Gahvari, Firouz, 2000. "Tax evasion, fiscal competition and economic integration," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 44(9), pages 1633-1657, October.
  30. 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.
  31. Bev Dahlby, 1996. "Fiscal externalities and the design of intergovernmental grants," International Tax and Public Finance, Springer;International Institute of Public Finance, vol. 3(3), pages 397-412, July.
  32. Caplan, Arthur J. & Cornes, Richard C. & Silva, Emilson C. D., 2000. "Pure public goods and income redistribution in a federation with decentralized leadership and imperfect labor mobility," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 77(2), pages 265-284, August.
Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

This item is not listed on Wikipedia, on a reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.

When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:eee:juecon:v:55:y:2004:i:3:p:498-513. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Shamier, Wendy)

If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.

If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.

If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

This information is provided to you by IDEAS at the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis using RePEc data.