Games within borders: are geographically differentiated taxes optimal?
The discontinuous tax treatment of sales at borders creates incentives for individuals to cross-border shop. This paper addresses whether it is optimal for a state composed of multiple regions to levy differentiated commodity tax rates across the regions. In a model where states maximize social welfare, a state’s optimal commodity tax system is almost always geographically differentiated. The optimal pattern of geographic differentiation critically depends on fundamental parameters as well as whether the state has a preference for high or low taxes. Under the assumption that utility is linear in consumption and that the elasticity of cross-border shopping is less than unity in absolute value, high-tax states will find it optimal to set a tax rate that is lower in the border region than in the periphery region and low-tax states will find it optimal to set a tax rate that is higher in the border region than in the periphery region. Optimizing high-tax states will set a higher tax rate in the border region if the social welfare measure is sufficiently redistributive. With welfare maximization, it is possible for taxes to be higher in the region near the state border—an outcome that cannot arise when the government cares only about total tax revenue. Copyright Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2012
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.
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.
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.:
- Tosun Mehmet S & Skidmore Mark L, 2007. "Cross-Border Shopping and the Sales Tax: An Examination of Food Purchases in West Virginia," The B.E. Journal of Economic Analysis & Policy, De Gruyter, vol. 7(1), pages 1-20, December.
- Søren Bo Nielsen, .
"A Simple Model of Commodity Taxation and Cross-Border Shopping,"
EPRU Working Paper Series
98-18, Economic Policy Research Unit (EPRU), University of Copenhagen. Department of Economics.
- Nielsen, Soren Bo, 2001. " A Simple Model of Commodity Taxation and Cross-Border Shopping," Scandinavian Journal of Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 103(4), pages 599-623, December.
- Nielsen, Søren Bo, 1998. "A simple model of commodity taxation and cross-border shopping," Working Papers 13-1998, Copenhagen Business School, Department of Economics.
- Mintz, J. & Tulkens, H., 1984.
"Commodity tax competition between member states of a federation: equilibrium and efficiency,"
CORE Discussion Papers
1984027, Université catholique de Louvain, Center for Operations Research and Econometrics (CORE).
- Mintz, Jack & Tulkens, Henry, 1986. "Commodity tax competition between member states of a federation: equilibrium and efficiency," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 29(2), pages 133-172, March.
- MINTZ, Jack & TULKENS, Henry, . "Commodity tax competition between member states of a federation: equilibrium and efficiency," CORE Discussion Papers RP -693, Université catholique de Louvain, Center for Operations Research and Econometrics (CORE).
- Slemrod, Joel & Yitzhaki, Shlomo, 2001.
"Integrating Expenditure and Tax Decisions: The Marginal Cost of Funds and the Marginal Benefit of Projects,"
National Tax Journal,
National Tax Association, vol. 54(n. 2), pages 189-202, June.
- Joel Slemrod & Shlomo Yitzhaki, 2001. "Integrating Expenditure and Tax Decisions: The Marginal Cost of Funds and the Marginal Benefit of Projects," NBER Working Papers 8196, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Janeba, Eckhard & Peters, Wolfgang, 1999. "Tax Evasion, Tax Competition and the Gains from Nondiscrimination: The Case of Interest Taxation in Europe," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 109(452), pages 93-101, January.
- Trandel, Gregory A., 1994. "Interstate commodity tax differentials and the distribution of residents," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 53(3), pages 435-457, March.
- Kanbur, Ravi & Keen, Michael, 1993.
"Jeux Sans Frontieres: Tax Competition and Tax Coordination When Countries Differ in Size,"
American Economic Review,
American Economic Association, vol. 83(4), pages 877-92, September.
- Ravi Kanbur & Michael Keen, 1991. "Jeux Sans Frontieres: Tax Competition and Tax Coordination when Countries Differ in Size," Working Papers 819, Queen's University, Department of Economics.
- Haufler, Andreas, 1996.
"Tax Coordination with Different Preferences for Public Goods: Conflict or Harmony of Interest?,"
Munich Reprints in Economics
20392, University of Munich, Department of Economics.
- Andreas Haufler, 1996. "Tax coordination with different preferences for public goods: Conflict or harmony of interest?," International Tax and Public Finance, Springer, vol. 3(1), pages 5-28, January.
- Matthew Harding & Ephraim Leibtag & Michael F. Lovenheim, 2012. "The Heterogeneous Geographic and Socioeconomic Incidence of Cigarette Taxes: Evidence from Nielsen Homescan Data," American Economic Journal: Economic Policy, American Economic Association, vol. 4(4), pages 169-98, November.
- Michael F. Lovenheim, 2007.
"How Far to the Border?: The Extent and Impact of Cross-Border Casual Cigarette Smuggling,"
06-040, Stanford Institute for Economic Policy Research, revised Oct 2009.
- Lovenheim, Michael F., 2008. "How Far to the Border?: The Extent and Impact of Cross-Border Casual Cigarette Smuggling," National Tax Journal, National Tax Association, vol. 61(1), pages 7-33, March.
- Joel Slemrod, 2007. "Cheating Ourselves: The Economics of Tax Evasion," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 21(1), pages 25-48, Winter.
- Davis, Lucas W., 2011. "The Effects Of Preferential Vat Rates Near International Borders: Evidence From Mexico," National Tax Journal, National Tax Association, vol. 64(1), pages 85-104, March.
- Keen, Michael, 2001. "Preferential Regimes Can Make Tax Competition Less Harmful," National Tax Journal, National Tax Association, vol. 54(n. 4), pages 757-62, December.
- Joel Slemrod & Shlomo Yitzhaki, 1996. "The Costs of Taxation and the Marginal Efficiency Cost of Funds," IMF Staff Papers, Palgrave Macmillan, vol. 43(1), pages 172-198, March.
- David Merriman, 2010. "The Micro-geography of Tax Avoidance: Evidence from Littered Cigarette Packs in Chicago," American Economic Journal: Economic Policy, American Economic Association, vol. 2(2), pages 61-84, May.
- B. Dahlby & L. S. Wilson, 1994. "Fiscal Capacity, Tax Effort, and Optimal Equalization Grants," Canadian Journal of Economics, Canadian Economics Association, vol. 27(3), pages 657-72, August.
When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:kap:itaxpf:v:19:y:2012:i:4:p:574-597. 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: (Guenther Eichhorn)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.