IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/a/kap/itaxpf/v24y2017i5d10.1007_s10797-016-9437-9.html
   My bibliography  Save this article

Fiscal equalisation schemes under competition

Author

Listed:
  • Johannes Becker

    (University of Münster)

  • Michael Kriebel

    (University of Münster)

Abstract

This paper considers optimal fiscal equalisation in a federation that competes with other federations for business tax base. It formalises the argument that, under certain circumstances, federations have an incentive to foster tax competition among their subunits in order to attract tax base from other federations. We show that optimal fiscal equalisation serves the purpose of redistributing income from rich to poor subunits and of choosing an optimal level of tax competition. The latter is chosen as a trade-off between three goals. First, decentralised tax rate setting has positive fiscal externalities within the federation and, thus, tax rates are inefficiently low. Second, in the presence of hold-up problems in investment, tax rates may be inefficiently high. Then, tax competition serves as a commitment device for low future tax rates and is, thus, welfare enhancing. Third, generous fiscal equalisation within the federation is a commitment to not aggressively compete with subunits outside the federation for tax base; as a consequence, with optimal equalisation, equilibrium tax rates are higher within and outside the federation—and even higher than in the case of centralised (i.e. federal level) tax rate setting.

Suggested Citation

  • Johannes Becker & Michael Kriebel, 2017. "Fiscal equalisation schemes under competition," International Tax and Public Finance, Springer;International Institute of Public Finance, vol. 24(5), pages 800-816, September.
  • Handle: RePEc:kap:itaxpf:v:24:y:2017:i:5:d:10.1007_s10797-016-9437-9
    DOI: 10.1007/s10797-016-9437-9
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: http://link.springer.com/10.1007/s10797-016-9437-9
    File Function: Abstract
    Download Restriction: Access to full text is restricted to subscribers.

    File URL: https://libkey.io/10.1007/s10797-016-9437-9?utm_source=ideas
    LibKey link: if access is restricted and if your library uses this service, LibKey will redirect you to where you can use your library subscription to access this item
    ---><---

    As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to search for a different version of it.

    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Masayoshi Hayashi & Robin Boadway, 2001. "An empirical analysis of intergovernmental tax interaction: the case of business income taxes in Canada," Canadian Journal of Economics, Canadian Economics Association, vol. 34(2), pages 481-503, May.
    2. 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.
    3. Buettner, Thiess, 2001. "Local business taxation and competition for capital: the choice of the tax rate," Regional Science and Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 31(2-3), pages 215-245, April.
    4. Wildasin, David E., 1989. "Interjurisdictional capital mobility: Fiscal externality and a corrective subsidy," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 25(2), pages 193-212, March.
    5. Jonathan Thomas & Tim Worrall, 1994. "Foreign Direct Investment and the Risk of Expropriation," The Review of Economic Studies, Review of Economic Studies Ltd, vol. 61(1), pages 81-108.
    6. Buettner, Thiess, 2006. "The incentive effect of fiscal equalization transfers on tax policy," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 90(3), pages 477-497, February.
    7. 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.
    8. Michael Smart, 2007. "Raising taxes through equalization," Canadian Journal of Economics, Canadian Economics Association, vol. 40(4), pages 1188-1212, November.
    9. Keen, Michael & Konrad, Kai A., . "The theory of international tax competition and coordination," Chapters in Economics,, University of Munich, Department of Economics.
    10. Robin Boadway, 2004. "The Theory and Practice of Equalization," CESifo Economic Studies, CESifo Group, vol. 50(1), pages 211-254.
    11. Wilson, John Douglas & Janeba, Eckhard, 2005. "Decentralization and international tax competition," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 89(7), pages 1211-1229, July.
    12. Yingyi Qian & Barry R. Weingast, 1997. "Federalism as a Commitment to Reserving Market Incentives," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 11(4), pages 83-92, Fall.
    13. Konrad, Kai A. & Erik Lommerud, Kjell, 2001. "Foreign direct investment, intra-firm trade and ownership structure," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 45(3), pages 475-494, March.
    14. Schnitzer, Monika, 1999. "Expropriation and control rights: A dynamic model of foreign direct investment," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, vol. 17(8), pages 1113-1137, November.
    15. Lisa Grazzini & Alessandro Petretto, 2007. "Tax Competition between Unitary and Federal Countries," Economics of Governance, Springer, vol. 8(1), pages 17-36, January.
    16. Agrawal, David R., 2016. "Local fiscal competition: An application to sales taxation with multiple federations," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 91(C), pages 122-138.
    17. Devereux, Michael P. & Lockwood, Ben & Redoano, Michela, 2008. "Do countries compete over corporate tax rates?," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 92(5-6), pages 1210-1235, June.
    18. Sebastian Kessing & Kai Konrad & Christos Kotsogiannis, 2009. "Federalism, weak institutions and the competition for foreign direct investment," International Tax and Public Finance, Springer;International Institute of Public Finance, vol. 16(1), pages 105-123, February.
    19. Bev Dahlby & Neil Warren, 2003. "Fiscal Incentive Effects of the Australian Equalisation System," The Economic Record, The Economic Society of Australia, vol. 79(247), pages 434-445, December.
    20. Egger, Peter & Koethenbuerger, Marko & Smart, Michael, 2010. "Do fiscal transfers alleviate business tax competition? Evidence from Germany," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 94(3-4), pages 235-246, April.
    21. Jan K. Brueckner, 2004. "Fiscal Decentralization with Distortionary Taxation: Tiebout vs. Tax Competition," International Tax and Public Finance, Springer;International Institute of Public Finance, vol. 11(2), pages 133-153, March.
    22. Baretti, Christian & Huber, Bernd & Lichtblau, Karl, 2002. "A Tax on Tax Revenue: The Incentive Effects of Equalizing Transfers: Evidence from Germany," Munich Reprints in Economics 20129, University of Munich, Department of Economics.
    23. Michael Keen, 1998. "Vertical Tax Externalities in the Theory of Fiscal Federalism," IMF Staff Papers, Palgrave Macmillan, vol. 45(3), pages 454-485, September.
    24. Duanjie Chen & Jack Mintz, 2013. "2013 Annual Global Tax Competitiveness Ranking: Corporate Tax Policy at a Crossroads," SPP Research Papers, The School of Public Policy, University of Calgary, vol. 6(35), November.
    25. Janeba, Eckhard & Wilson, John Douglas, 2011. "Optimal fiscal federalism in the presence of tax competition," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 95(11), pages 1302-1311.
    26. Michael Overesch & Johannes Rincke, 2011. "What Drives Corporate Tax Rates Down? A Reassessment of Globalization, Tax Competition, and Dynamic Adjustment to Shocks," Scandinavian Journal of Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 113(3), pages 579-602, September.
    27. Christian Baretti & Bernd Huber & Karl Lichtblau, 2002. "A Tax on Tax Revenue: The Incentive Effects of Equalizing Transfers: Evidence from Germany," International Tax and Public Finance, Springer;International Institute of Public Finance, vol. 9(6), pages 631-649, November.
    28. Becker, Johannes & Fuest, Clemens, 2012. "Transfer pricing policy and the intensity of tax rate competition," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 117(1), pages 146-148.
    29. Weingast, Barry R, 1995. "The Economic Role of Political Institutions: Market-Preserving Federalism and Economic Development," The Journal of Law, Economics, and Organization, Oxford University Press, vol. 11(1), pages 1-31, April.
    30. Besley, Timothy & Coate, Stephen, 2003. "Centralized versus decentralized provision of local public goods: a political economy approach," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 87(12), pages 2611-2637, December.
    31. Eckhard Janeba, 2000. "Tax Competition When Governments Lack Commitment: Excess Capacity as a Countervailing Threat," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 90(5), pages 1508-1519, December.
    32. Patrick J. Kehoe, 1989. "Policy Cooperation Among Benevolent Governments May Be Undesirable," The Review of Economic Studies, Review of Economic Studies Ltd, vol. 56(2), pages 289-296.
    33. Michael J. Keen & Christos Kotsogiannis, 2002. "Does Federalism Lead to Excessively High Taxes?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 92(1), pages 363-370, March.
    34. Eaton, Jonathan & Gersovitz, Mark, 1984. "A Theory of Expropriation and Deviations from Perfect Capital Mobility," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 94(373), pages 16-40, March.
    35. John William Hatfield & Gerard Padró i Miquel, 2012. "A Political Economy Theory Of Partial Decentralization," Journal of the European Economic Association, European Economic Association, vol. 10(3), pages 605-633, May.
    36. Buettner, Thiess, 2003. "Tax base effects and fiscal externalities of local capital taxation: evidence from a panel of German jurisdictions," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 54(1), pages 110-128, July.
    37. Becker, Sascha O. & Egger, Peter H. & Merlo, Valeria, 2012. "How low business tax rates attract MNE activity: Municipality-level evidence from Germany," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 96(9-10), pages 698-711.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    Citations

    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.
    as


    Cited by:

    1. Ana B. Ania & Andreas Wagener, 2021. "Laboratory federalism with public funds sharing," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 59(3), pages 1047-1065, July.
    2. Ana B. Ania & Andreas Wagener, 2021. "Laboratory federalism with public funds sharing," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 59(3), pages 1047-1065, July.

    Most related items

    These are the items that most often cite the same works as this one and are cited by the same works as this one.
    1. Caterina Liesegang & Marco Runkel, 2018. "Tax competition and fiscal equalization under corporate income taxation," International Tax and Public Finance, Springer;International Institute of Public Finance, vol. 25(2), pages 311-324, April.
    2. Kessing, Sebastian G. & Konrad, Kai A. & Kotsogiannis, Christos, 2006. "Federal tax autonomy and the limits of cooperation," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 59(2), pages 317-329, March.
    3. Janeba, Eckhard & Todtenhaupt, Maximilian, 2018. "Fiscal competition and public debt," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 168(C), pages 47-61.
    4. Thiess Buettner & Manuela Krause, 2021. "Fiscal equalization as a driver of tax increases: empirical evidence from Germany," International Tax and Public Finance, Springer;International Institute of Public Finance, vol. 28(1), pages 90-112, February.
    5. Caterina Liesegang & Marco Runkel, 2009. "Corporate Income Taxation of Multinationals and Fiscal Equalization," CESifo Working Paper Series 2747, CESifo.
    6. Krause, Manuela & Büttner, Thiess, 2017. "Does Fiscal Equalization Lead to Higher Tax Rates? Empirical Evidence from Germany," VfS Annual Conference 2017 (Vienna): Alternative Structures for Money and Banking 168214, Verein für Socialpolitik / German Economic Association.
    7. Michael Keen & Kai A. Konrad, 2012. "International Tax Competition and Coordination," Working Papers international_tax_competi, Max Planck Institute for Tax Law and Public Finance.
    8. Holm-Hadulla, Fédéric, 2020. "Fiscal equalization and the tax structure," Regional Science and Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 81(C).
    9. Yongzheng Liu, 2014. "Does competition for capital discipline governments? The role of fiscal equalization," International Tax and Public Finance, Springer;International Institute of Public Finance, vol. 21(3), pages 345-374, June.
    10. Sebastian Hauptmeier & Ferdinand Mittermaier & Johannes Rincke, 2008. "Fiscal Competition over Taxes and Public Inputs: Theory and Evidence," CESifo Working Paper Series 2499, CESifo.
    11. Willem Sas, 2017. "Can fiscal equalisation mitigate tax competition? Ad valorem and residence-based taxation in a federation," International Tax and Public Finance, Springer;International Institute of Public Finance, vol. 24(5), pages 817-853, September.
    12. Köthenbürger, Marko & Egger, Peter & Smart, Michael, 2013. "Do Electoral Rules Make Legislators Differently Responsive to Fiscal Transfers? Evidence from German Municipalities," VfS Annual Conference 2013 (Duesseldorf): Competition Policy and Regulation in a Global Economic Order 79972, Verein für Socialpolitik / German Economic Association.
    13. Baskaran, Thushyanthan & Lopes da Fonseca, Mariana, 2013. "The economics and empirics of tax competition: A survey," University of Göttingen Working Papers in Economics 163, University of Goettingen, Department of Economics.
    14. Peter Egger & Marko Koethenbuerger & Michael Smart, 2010. "Electoral rules and incentive effects of fiscal transfers: evidence from Germany," Working Papers 2010/44, Institut d'Economia de Barcelona (IEB).
    15. Till Gross, 2021. "Dynamic Optimal Fiscal Policy in a Transfer Union," Review of Economic Dynamics, Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics, vol. 42, pages 194-238, October.
    16. Michael Smart, 2007. "Raising taxes through equalization," Canadian Journal of Economics, Canadian Economics Association, vol. 40(4), pages 1188-1212, November.
    17. Christian Kelders & Marko Koethenbuerger, 2010. "Tax incentives in fiscal federalism: an integrated perspective," Canadian Journal of Economics/Revue canadienne d'économique, John Wiley & Sons, vol. 43(2), pages 683-703, May.
    18. Sebastian Kessing & Kai Konrad & Christos Kotsogiannis, 2009. "Federalism, weak institutions and the competition for foreign direct investment," International Tax and Public Finance, Springer;International Institute of Public Finance, vol. 16(1), pages 105-123, February.
    19. Egger, Peter & Koethenbuerger, Marko & Smart, Michael, 2010. "Do fiscal transfers alleviate business tax competition? Evidence from Germany," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 94(3-4), pages 235-246, April.
    20. Manuel E. Lago & Santiago Lago-Peñas & Jorge Martinez-Vazquez, 2022. "On the effects of intergovernmental grants: a survey," Working Papers. Collection A: Public economics, governance and decentralization 2204, Universidade de Vigo, GEN - Governance and Economics research Network.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Business taxation; Fiscal equalisation; Tax competition;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • H25 - Public Economics - - Taxation, Subsidies, and Revenue - - - Business Taxes and Subsidies
    • H32 - Public Economics - - Fiscal Policies and Behavior of Economic Agents - - - Firm
    • H87 - Public Economics - - Miscellaneous Issues - - - International Fiscal Issues; International Public Goods

    Statistics

    Access and download statistics

    Corrections

    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:kap:itaxpf:v:24:y:2017:i:5:d:10.1007_s10797-016-9437-9. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    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 CitEc recognized a bibliographic reference but did not link an item in RePEc 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 RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: Sonal Shukla or Springer Nature Abstracting and Indexing (email available below). General contact details of provider: http://www.springer.com .

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service. RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.