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Capital tax competition and returns to scale

  • Burbidge, John
  • Cuff, Katherine

There is a gap between the predictions of capital tax competition models and the reality they purport to describe. In a standard capital-tax model, with head taxes, capital-importing regions tax capital and capital-exporting regions subsidize capital. In the real-world, competing regions appear to subsidize capital whether or not they are capital importers. We show that by relaxing the standard assumption of constant returns to scale symmetric regions in a Nash equilibrium may all subsidize capital.We also prove that any ine¢ciencies in a non-symmetric Nash equilibria arise entirely from regions’ incentives to manipulate the terms of trade, and not from increasing returns.We also compare our results to those in captial tax competition models without head taxes.

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Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Regional Science and Urban Economics.

Volume (Year): 35 (2005)
Issue (Month): 4 (July)
Pages: 353-373

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Handle: RePEc:eee:regeco:v:35:y:2005:i:4:p:353-373
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  1. Wilson, John Douglas, 1999. "Theories of Tax Competition," National Tax Journal, National Tax Association, vol. 52(n. 2), pages 269-304, June.
  2. Hans Jarle Kind & Helene Midelfart & Guttorm Schjelderup, 2000. "Competing for Capital in a "Lumpy" World," CESifo Working Paper Series 252, CESifo Group Munich.
  3. Ben Lockwood, 2004. "Competition in Unit vs. Ad Valorem Taxes," International Tax and Public Finance, Springer, vol. 11(6), pages 763-772, November.
  4. Ludema, Rodney D & Wooton, Ian, 1998. "Economic Geography and the Fiscal Effects of Regional Integration," CEPR Discussion Papers 1822, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  5. John Burbidge & Katherine Cuff, 2002. "Capital Tax Competition and Returns to Scale," Department of Economics Working Papers 2002-10, McMaster University.
  6. Fujita, Masahisa & Thisse, Jacques-François, 1996. "Economics of Agglomeration," CEPR Discussion Papers 1344, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  7. Wilson, John D., 1986. "A theory of interregional tax competition," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 19(3), pages 296-315, May.
  8. John B. Burbidge & James A. DePater & Gordon M. Myers & Abhijit Sengupta, 1996. "A Coalition-formation Approach to Equilibrium Federations and Trading Block s," Department of Economics Working Papers 1996-05, McMaster University.
  9. Krugman, Paul, 1991. "Increasing Returns and Economic Geography," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 99(3), pages 483-99, June.
  10. Janeba, Eckhard & Smart, Michael, 2003. "Is Targeted Tax Competition Less Harmful Than Its Remedies?," International Tax and Public Finance, Springer, vol. 10(3), pages 259-80, May.
  11. Wilson, J.D., 1990. "Tax Competition With Interregional Differences In Factor Endowments," Working Papers 4, John Deutsch Institute for the Study of Economic Policy.
  12. Robin Boadway & Katherine Cuff & Nicolas Marceau, 2003. "Agglomeration Effects and the Competition for Firms," Cahiers de recherche 0324, CIRPEE.
  13. Bucovetsky, S., 1991. "Asymmetric tax competition," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 30(2), pages 167-181, September.
  14. Wildasin, David E., 1988. "Nash equilibria in models of fiscal competition," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 35(2), pages 229-240, March.
  15. Scoones, David & Wen, Jean-Francois, 2001. " Common and Private Values of the Firm in Tax Competition," Journal of Public Economic Theory, Association for Public Economic Theory, vol. 3(4), pages 373-89.
  16. Black, Dan A & Hoyt, William H, 1989. "Bidding for Firms," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 79(5), pages 1249-56, December.
  17. Teresa Garcia-Milà & Therese J. McGuire, 2001. "Tax incentives and the city," Economics Working Papers 631, Department of Economics and Business, Universitat Pompeu Fabra, revised Dec 2001.
  18. Bond, Eric W & Samuelson, Larry, 1986. "Tax Holidays as Signals," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 76(4), pages 820-26, September.
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