Revenue Sharing versus Expenditure Sharing in a Federal System
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.
When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:kap:itaxpf:v:11:y:2004:i:2:p:155-174. 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: (Sonal Shukla)or (Christopher F. Baum)
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.