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Endogenizing leadership in tax competition: a timing game perspective

  • Kempf, H.
  • Rota Graziosi, G.

In this paper we extend the standard approach of horizontal tax competition by endogenizing the timing of decisions made by the competing jurisdictions. Following the literature on the endogenous timing in duopoly games, we consider a pre-play stage, where jurisdictions commit themselves to more early or late, i.e. to fix their tax rate at a first or second stage. We highlight that at least one jurisdiction experiments a second-mover advantage. We show that the Subgame Perfect Equilibria (SPEs) correspond to the two Stackelberg situations yielding to a coordination problem. In order to solve this issue, we consider a quadratic specification of the production function, and we use two criteria of selection: Pareto-dominance and risk-dominance. We emphasize that at the safer equilibrium the less productive or smaller jurisdiction leads and hence loses the second-mover advantage. If asymmetry among jurisdictions is sufficient, Pareto-dominance reinforces risk-domination in selecting the same SPE. Three results may be deduced from our analysis: (i) the downward pressure on tax rates is less severe than predicted; (ii) the smaller jurisdiction leads; (iii) the 'big-country-higher-tax-rate' rule does not always hold. Classification-JEL: H30, H87, C72.

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Paper provided by Banque de France in its series Working papers with number 299.

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Length: 34 pages
Date of creation: 2010
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:bfr:banfra:299
Contact details of provider: Postal: Banque de France 31 Rue Croix des Petits Champs LABOLOG - 49-1404 75049 PARIS
Web page: http://www.banque-france.fr/

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  1. Pascalis Raimondos-Møller & Alan D. Woodland, 1997. "Tariff strategies and small open economies," CIE Discussion Papers 1997-23, University of Copenhagen. Department of Economics. Centre for Industrial Economics.
  2. Bayindir-Upmann, Thorsten & Ziad, Abderrahmanne, 2005. "Existence of equilibria in a basic tax-competition model," Regional Science and Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 35(1), pages 1-22, January.
  3. van Damme, E.E.C. & Hurkens, J.P.M., 1996. "Commitment robust equilibria and endogenous timing," Other publications TiSEM ec7a3425-4254-44da-8ef4-e, Tilburg University, School of Economics and Management.
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