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Leviathans, federal transfers, and the cartelization hypothesis

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  • Marko Köthenbürger

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Abstract

Federal fiscal arrangements are argued to give rise to tacit collusion among competing Leviathans (Brennan and Buchanan, The Power to Tax, CUP, 1980). Though frequently encountered in academic and policy discussions, the cartelization hypothesis has rarely been scrutinized formally. This paper explores the effect of federal equalizing transfers on Leviathans engaged in tax competition. Contrary to the hypothesis, equalization is found to potentially complement tax competition in taming the Leviathan by implicitly taxing tax revenues extracted by the Leviathan. Thus, transfers might be an appropriate constitutional provision against fiscal expropriation. Copyright Springer Science + Business Media, Inc. 2005

Suggested Citation

  • Marko Köthenbürger, 2005. "Leviathans, federal transfers, and the cartelization hypothesis," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 122(3), pages 449-465, March.
  • Handle: RePEc:kap:pubcho:v:122:y:2005:i:3:p:449-465
    DOI: 10.1007/s11127-005-7518-x
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Edwards, Jeremy & Keen, Michael, 1996. "Tax competition and Leviathan," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 40(1), pages 113-134, January.
    2. 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.
    3. Robin W. Boadway & Frank R. Flatters, 1982. "Efficiency and Equalization Payments in a Federal System of Government: A Synthesis and Extension of Recent Results," Canadian Journal of Economics, Canadian Economics Association, vol. 15(4), pages 613-633, November.
    4. Grossman, Philip J & West, Edwin G, 1994. "Federalism and the Growth of Government Revisited," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 79(1-2), pages 19-32, April.
    5. Epple, Dennis & Zelenitz, Allan, 1981. "The Implications of Competition among Jurisdictions: Does Tiebout Need Politics?," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 89(6), pages 1197-1217, December.
    6. John Douglas Wilson & Roger H. Gordon, 2003. "Expenditure Competition," Journal of Public Economic Theory, Association for Public Economic Theory, vol. 5(2), pages 399-417, April.
    7. Matthias Wrede, 2000. "Shared Tax Sources and Public Expenditures," International Tax and Public Finance, Springer;International Institute of Public Finance, vol. 7(2), pages 163-175, March.
    8. Marko Köthenbürger, 2002. "Tax Competition and Fiscal Equalization," International Tax and Public Finance, Springer;International Institute of Public Finance, vol. 9(4), pages 391-408, August.
    9. 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.
    10. James M. Buchanan, 1952. "Federal Grants and Resource Allocation," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 60, pages 208-208.
    11. Michael Keen, 1998. "Vertical Tax Externalities in the Theory of Fiscal Federalism," IMF Staff Papers, Palgrave Macmillan, vol. 45(3), pages 454-485, September.
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    Cited by:

    1. Nobuo Akai & Hikaru Ogawa & Yoshitomo Ogawa, 2011. "Endogenous choice on tax instruments in a tax competition model: unit tax versus ad valorem tax," International Tax and Public Finance, Springer;International Institute of Public Finance, vol. 18(5), pages 495-506, October.
    2. 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.
    3. Sharma, Chanchal Kumar, 2007. "Rescuing the concept of vertical fiscal imbalance," MPRA Paper 39343, University Library of Munich, Germany, revised 2010.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • H7 - Public Economics - - State and Local Government; Intergovernmental Relations
    • H1 - Public Economics - - Structure and Scope of Government
    • H20 - Public Economics - - Taxation, Subsidies, and Revenue - - - General

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