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Decentralization and Tax Competition between Asymmetrical Local Governments

  • Clément Carbonnier

    ()

    (Université de Cergy-Pontoise, THEMA, Cergy-Pontoise cedex, France & Sciences Po, LIEPP, Paris, France)

This article presents a model of tax competition between an arbitrarily large number of asymmetrical jurisdictions. Tax competition induces lower corporate taxes and lower public input provision than does tax coordination. This bias decreases with respect to the size and number of jurisdictions. Tax competition constitutes a cost of decentralization that may balance the gains presented by the decentralization theorem. A French panel of municipalities and intermunicipal jurisdictions is used to test these results, which are confirmed. Furthermore, the corporate tax increase due to cooperation leads to an increase in the corporate tax base: the fully decentralized situation is suboptimal.

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Article provided by in its journal Public Finance Review.

Volume (Year): 41 (2013)
Issue (Month): 4 (July)
Pages: 391-420

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Handle: RePEc:sae:pubfin:v:41:y:2013:i:4:p:391-420
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  1. Todd M. Gabe & Kathleen P. Bell, 2004. "Tradeoffs between Local Taxes and Government Spending as Determinants of Business Location," Journal of Regional Science, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 44(1), pages 21-41.
  2. Edward L. Glaeser & Joshua D. Gottlieb, 2009. "The Wealth of Cities: Agglomeration Economies and Spatial Equilibrium in the United States," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 47(4), pages 983-1028, December.
  3. Matthieu Leprince & Thierry Madiès & Sonia Paty, 2007. "Business tax interactions among local governments : an empirical analysis of the French case," Working Papers 250925, Institut National de la Recherche Agronomique, France.
  4. Arzaghi, Mohammad & Henderson, J. Vernon, 2005. "Why countries are fiscally decentralizing," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 89(7), pages 1157-1189, July.
  5. Michael Smart, 1998. "Taxation and Deadweight Loss in a System of Intergovernmental Transfers," Canadian Journal of Economics, Canadian Economics Association, vol. 31(1), pages 189-206, February.
  6. Peralta, Susana & van Ypersele, Tanguy, 2006. "Coordination of capital taxation among asymmetric countries," Regional Science and Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 36(6), pages 708-726, November.
  7. Iwan Barankay & Ben Lockwood, 2005. "Decentralization and the Productive Efficiency of Government: Evidence from Swiss Cantons," Economics Discussion Papers 597, University of Essex, Department of Economics.
  8. 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.
  9. Schwab, Robert M. & Oates, Wallace E., 1991. "Community composition and the provision of local public goods : A normative analysis," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 44(2), pages 217-237, March.
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