IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/p/aah/aarhec/2010-09.html
   My bibliography  Save this paper

Globalization, tax distortions and public sector retrenchment

Author

Listed:
  • Torben M. Andersen

    () (School of Economics and Management, Aarhus University, Denmark)

  • Allan Sørensen

    (School of Economics and Management, Aarhus University, Denmark)

Abstract

It is widely perceived that globalization is a threat to tax financed public sector activities. The argument is that public activities (public consumption and transfers) financed by income taxes distort labour markets and cause higher wages and thus a loss of competitiveness. Since this link is strengthened by globalization, it is inferred that the marginal costs of public funds increase and a retrenchment of the public sector follows. We challenge whether these conclusions have support in a general equilibrium model featuring standard effects from open macroeconomics and trade theory. Even though income taxation unambiguously worsens wage competitiveness, it does not follow that marginal costs of public funds increase with product market integration due to gains from trade. Moreover, non-cooperative fiscal policies do not have a race-to-the-bottom bias despite that taxes harm competitiveness. In fact we identify an expansionary bias in ?scal policies that is likely to increase with globalization when taxes finance either public consumption or transfers.

Suggested Citation

  • Torben M. Andersen & Allan Sørensen, 2010. "Globalization, tax distortions and public sector retrenchment," Economics Working Papers 2010-09, Department of Economics and Business Economics, Aarhus University.
  • Handle: RePEc:aah:aarhec:2010-09
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: ftp://ftp.econ.au.dk/afn/wp/10/wp10_09.pdf
    Download Restriction: no

    Other versions of this item:

    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Michiel Evers & Ruud A. De Mooij & Daniel J. Van Vuuren, 2005. "What Explains the Variation in Estimates of Labour Supply Elasticities?," CESifo Working Paper Series 1633, CESifo Group Munich.
    2. Molana, Hassan & Montagna, Catia, 2006. "Aggregate scale economies, market integration, and optimal welfare state policy," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 69(2), pages 321-340, July.
    3. Paolo Epifani & Gino Gancia, 2009. "Openness, Government Size and the Terms of Trade," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 76(2), pages 629-668.
    4. Keuschnigg, Christian & Ribi, Evelyn, 2009. "Outsourcing, unemployment and welfare policy," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 78(1), pages 168-176, June.
    5. Francesco Daveri & Guido Tabellini, 2000. "Unemployment, growth and taxation in industrial countries," Economic Policy, CEPR;CES;MSH, vol. 15(30), pages 47-104, April.
    6. Burda, Michael C., 1999. "European labor markets and the Euro: How much flexibility do we really need?," SFB 373 Discussion Papers 1999,41, Humboldt University of Berlin, Interdisciplinary Research Project 373: Quantification and Simulation of Economic Processes.
    7. Dornbusch, Rudiger & Fischer, Stanley & Samuelson, Paul A, 1977. "Comparative Advantage, Trade, and Payments in a Ricardian Model with a Continuum of Goods," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 67(5), pages 823-839, December.
    8. Bernard, Andrew B. & Bradford Jensen, J., 1999. "Exceptional exporter performance: cause, effect, or both?," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 47(1), pages 1-25, February.
    9. Richard C. Marston, 1983. "Stabilization Policies in Open Economies," NBER Working Papers 1117, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    10. Lane, Philip R. & Perotti, Roberto, 2003. "The importance of composition of fiscal policy: evidence from different exchange rate regimes," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 87(9-10), pages 2253-2279, September.
    11. Andersen, Torben M., 2006. "The public sector and international integration," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 93(2), pages 202-209, November.
    12. Devereux, Michael B, 1991. "The Terms of Trade and the International Coordination of Fiscal Policy," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 29(4), pages 720-736, October.
    13. van der Ploeg, Frederick, 1988. "International policy coordination in interdependent monetary economies," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 25(1-2), pages 1-23, August.
    14. Torben M. Andersen, 2007. "Fiscal Policy Coordination and International Trade," Economica, London School of Economics and Political Science, vol. 74(294), pages 235-257, May.
    15. van der ploeg, F., 1987. "Coordination of optimal taxation in a two-country equilibrium model," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 24(3), pages 279-285.
    16. Marston, Richard C., 1985. "Stabilization policies in open economies," Handbook of International Economics,in: R. W. Jones & P. B. Kenen (ed.), Handbook of International Economics, edition 1, volume 2, chapter 17, pages 859-916 Elsevier.
    17. James R. Hines Jr. & Lawrence H. Summers, 2009. "How Globalization Affects Tax Design," NBER Chapters,in: Tax Policy and the Economy, Volume 23, pages 123-157 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    18. Assaf Razin & Efraim Sadka, 2005. "The Decline of the Welfare State: Demography and Globalization," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 0262182440, January.
    19. Chari, V V & Kehoe, Patrick J, 1990. "International Coordination of Fiscal Policy in Limiting Economies," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 98(3), pages 617-636, June.
    20. Jonathan Eaton & Samuel Kortum, 2002. "Technology, Geography, and Trade," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 70(5), pages 1741-1779, September.
    21. Layard, Richard & Nickell, Stephen & Jackman, Richard, 2005. "Unemployment: Macroeconomic Performance and the Labour Market," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, number 9780199279173.
    22. Dirk V Muir & Douglas Laxton & Dennis P Botman & Andrei Romanov, 2006. "A New-Open-Economy Macro Model for Fiscal Policy Evaluation," IMF Working Papers 06/45, International Monetary Fund.
    23. Bruce, Neil & Purvis, Douglas D., 1985. "The specification and influence of goods and factor markets in open-economy macroeconomic models," Handbook of International Economics,in: R. W. Jones & P. B. Kenen (ed.), Handbook of International Economics, edition 1, volume 2, chapter 16, pages 807-857 Elsevier.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    Citations

    Blog mentions

    As found by EconAcademics.org, the blog aggregator for Economics research:
    1. Globalization and the size of the public sector
      by Economic Logician in Economic Logic on 2010-07-27 19:42:00

    Citations

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


    Cited by:

    1. Torben M. Andersen & Allan Sørensen, 2013. "Product market integration, tax distortions and public sector size," Economics Working Papers 2013-28, Department of Economics and Business Economics, Aarhus University.
    2. Salvador Barrios & Jonathan Pycroft & Bert Saveyn, 2013. "The marginal cost of public funds in the EU: the case of labour versus green taxes," Taxation Papers 35, Directorate General Taxation and Customs Union, European Commission.
    3. Jonathan Pycroft & Salvador Barrios, 2012. "Effective Green Taxation: Method and application to firm-level data," EcoMod2012 3874, EcoMod.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    labour taxation; open economy; policy spill-over; marginal costs of public funds;

    JEL classification:

    • H2 - Public Economics - - Taxation, Subsidies, and Revenue
    • F1 - International Economics - - Trade
    • J22 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Time Allocation and Labor Supply

    NEP fields

    This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:

    Lists

    This item is featured on the following reading lists or Wikipedia pages:
    1. Economic Logic blog

    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:aah:aarhec:2010-09. 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: (). General contact details of provider: http://www.econ.au.dk/afn/ .

    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 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.

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

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.