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Revenue Sharing versus Expenditure Sharing in a Federal System

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  • Charles Figuieres

    ()

  • Jean Hindriks

    ()

  • Gareth D. Myles

    ()

Abstract

Problems of intergovernmental policy coordination can take many forms and are becoming increasingly important with continuing economic integration. In this paper we focus on the fiscal competition problem where the non-cooperative choice of taxes and transfers among governments typically leads to a suboptimal outcome. We look at the effect of two widely used corrective policies: revenue sharing and expenditure sharing (or intergovernmental matching grants). Our main result is that these two corrective policies have opposite effects depending on the form of competition between governments, namely whether governments compete in taxes or expenditures. More precisely, for any form of competition, revenue sharing is desirable exactly when expenditure sharing is not and vice versa. The implication is that the choice of the optimal corrective policy requires a complete understanding of the underlying non-cooperative behavior among governments. Our second main result is that neither revenue sharing or expenditure sharing can be sustained as a Nash equilibrium among governments, although all governments would benefit from one of these two corrective policies. Central intervention is therefore inevitable unless governments can pre-commit to the optimal corrective policy before setting their fiscal policies.

Suggested Citation

  • Charles Figuieres & Jean Hindriks & Gareth D. Myles, 2004. "Revenue Sharing versus Expenditure Sharing in a Federal System," International Tax and Public Finance, Springer;International Institute of Public Finance, vol. 11(2), pages 155-174, March.
  • Handle: RePEc:kap:itaxpf:v:11:y:2004:i:2:p:155-174
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    Cited by:

    1. Hindriks, Jean & Peralta, Susana & Weber, Shlomo, 2008. "Competing in taxes and investment under fiscal equalization," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 92(12), pages 2392-2402, December.
    2. DREZE, Jacques H. & FIGUIERES, Charles & HINDRIKS, Jean, 2006. "Voluntary matching grants can forestall social dumping," CORE Discussion Papers 2006111, Université catholique de Louvain, Center for Operations Research and Econometrics (CORE).
    3. Sam Bucovetsky & Michael Smart, 2006. "The Efficiency Consequences of Local Revenue Equalization: Tax Competition and Tax Distortions," Journal of Public Economic Theory, Association for Public Economic Theory, vol. 8(1), pages 119-144, January.
    4. VERDONCK, Magali, 2004. "A note on Kanbur and Keen : transfers to sustain fiscal cooperation," CORE Discussion Papers 2004002, Université catholique de Louvain, Center for Operations Research and Econometrics (CORE).
    5. Jean, HINDRIKS & Susana , PERALTA & Sholmo , WEBER, 2005. "Fiscal competition, revenue sharing, and policy-induced agglomeration," Discussion Papers (ECON - Département des Sciences Economiques) 2005062, Université catholique de Louvain, Département des Sciences Economiques.
    6. Michel Mignolet & Marie-Eve Mulquin & Frédérique Denil, 2004. "Interregional differences in taxes and population mobility," ERSA conference papers ersa04p104, European Regional Science Association.
    7. Carl Gaigné & Stéphane Riou, 2007. "Globalization, Asymmetric Tax Competition, and Fiscal Equalization," Journal of Public Economic Theory, Association for Public Economic Theory, vol. 9(5), pages 901-925, October.
    8. Lisa Grazzini & Alessandro Petretto, 2006. "Vertical Tax Competition with Tax Sharing and Equalization Grants," Giornale degli Economisti, GDE (Giornale degli Economisti e Annali di Economia), Bocconi University, vol. 65(1), pages 75-94, May.

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