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Imperfect competition, indirect tax harmonization and public goods


  • Christos Kotsogiannis


  • Miguel-Angel Lopez-Garcia



This paper shows that the welfare implications of indirect tax harmonization in a two-country imperfectly competitive framework, are, in general, indeterminate in the presence of public goods: Both countries can be made either worse off or better off. This holds under both the destination and origin principles of taxation and is in sharp contrast to existing results where revenue effects are not present. A consequence of this indeterminacy is that a precise evaluation of tax-harmonizing policies under both tax regimes requires an explicit consideration of the underlying preferences for private and public goods as well as the oligopolistic sectors’ relative cost structures. Copyright Springer Science + Business Media, LLC 2007

Suggested Citation

  • Christos Kotsogiannis & Miguel-Angel Lopez-Garcia, 2007. "Imperfect competition, indirect tax harmonization and public goods," International Tax and Public Finance, Springer;International Institute of Public Finance, vol. 14(2), pages 135-149, April.
  • Handle: RePEc:kap:itaxpf:v:14:y:2007:i:2:p:135-149 DOI: 10.1007/s10797-006-8577-8

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Kotsogiannis, Christos & Lopez-Garcia, Miguel-Angel & Myles, Gareth D., 2005. "The origin principle, tax harmonization and public goods," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 87(2), pages 211-219, May.
    2. Andreas Haufler & Michael Pflüger, 2004. "International Commodity Taxation under Monopolistic Competition," Journal of Public Economic Theory, Association for Public Economic Theory, vol. 6(3), pages 445-470, August.
    3. Keen, Michael & Lahiri, Sajal, 1998. "The comparison between destination and origin principles under imperfect competition," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 45(2), pages 323-350, August.
    4. Haufler, A. & Schjelderup, G. & Stahler, F., 2000. "Commodity Taxation and International Trade in Imperfect Markets," Papers 17/00, Norwegian School of Economics and Business Administration-.
    5. Keen, Michael & Lahiri, Sajal & Raimondos-Moller, Pascalis, 2002. "Tax principles and tax harmonization under imperfect competition: A cautionary example," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 46(8), pages 1559-1568, September.
    6. Keen, Michael & Lahiri, Sajal, 1993. "Domestic tax reform and international oligopoly," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 51(1), pages 55-74, May.
    7. Keen, Michael, 1989. "Pareto-improving indirect tax harmonisation," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 33(1), pages 1-12, January.
    8. Lahiri, Sajal & Raimondos-Moller, Pascalis, 1998. "Public good provision and the welfare effects of indirect tax harmonisation," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 67(2), pages 253-267, February.
    9. Keen, Michael, 1987. "Welfare effects of commodity tax harmonisation," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 33(1), pages 107-114, June.
    10. Lopez-Garcia, Miguel-Angel, 1998. "On welfare and revenue effects of indirect tax harmonization," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 60(2), pages 185-193, August.
    11. Nigar Hashimzade & Hassan Khodavaisi & Gareth Myles, 2005. "Tax Principles, Product Differentiation and the Nature of Competition," International Tax and Public Finance, Springer;International Institute of Public Finance, vol. 12(6), pages 695-712, November.
    12. Lockwood, Ben, 2001. "Tax competition and tax co-ordination under destination and origin principles: a synthesis," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 81(2), pages 279-319, August.
    13. Miguel-Angel Lopez-Garcia, 1996. "The origin principle and the welfare gains from indirect tax harmonization," International Tax and Public Finance, Springer;International Institute of Public Finance, vol. 3(1), pages 83-93, January.
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    Cited by:

    1. Ourania Karakosta & Christos Kotsogiannis & Miguel-Angel Lopez-Garcia, 2009. "Does Indirect Tax Harmonization Deliver Pareto Improvements in the Presence of Global Public Goods?," CESifo Working Paper Series 2668, CESifo Group Munich.
    2. Lars-H. R. Siemers, 2014. "A General Microsimulation Model for the EU VAT with a specific Application to Germany," International Journal of Microsimulation, International Microsimulation Association, vol. 7(2), pages 40-93.
    3. Ourania Karakosta & Christos Kotsogiannis & Miguel-Angel Lopez-Garcia, 2014. "Indirect tax harmonization and global public goods," International Tax and Public Finance, Springer;International Institute of Public Finance, vol. 21(1), pages 29-49, February.
    4. Fujiwara, Kenji, 2014. "Pareto-improving tariff-tax reforms under imperfect competition," International Review of Economics & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 31(C), pages 12-20.
    5. Krishanu Karmakar & Jorge Martinez-Vazquez, 2014. "Fiscal Competition versus Fiscal Harmonization: A Review of the Arguments," International Center for Public Policy Working Paper Series, at AYSPS, GSU paper1431, International Center for Public Policy, Andrew Young School of Policy Studies, Georgia State University.

    More about this item


    Origin principle; Destination principle; Indirect tax harmonization; Reform of commodity taxes; Public goods;

    JEL classification:

    • H87 - Public Economics - - Miscellaneous Issues - - - International Fiscal Issues; International Public Goods


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