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A Theory of User-Fee Competition

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  • Clemens Fuest
  • Martin Kolmar

Abstract

We develop a two-region model where the decentralized provision of spillover goods can be financed by means of taxes or user fees. In order to enforce the fees regions have to invest in exclusion. We show that a decentralized solution tends to be inefficient. There will be over-investment in exclusion and an underprovision of the spillover goods compared to a centralized solution. In addition the regions have strategic incentives to set user charges. If the regional spillover goods are substitutes user fees tend to be inefficiently low, whereas they tend to be inefficiently high if the spillover goods are complements.

Suggested Citation

  • Clemens Fuest & Martin Kolmar, 2004. "A Theory of User-Fee Competition," CESifo Working Paper Series 1166, CESifo Group Munich.
  • Handle: RePEc:ces:ceswps:_1166
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Wilson, John Douglas, 1991. "Tax competition with interregional differences in factor endowments," Regional Science and Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 21(3), pages 423-451, November.
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    3. Kurtis J. Swope & Eckhard Janeba, 2005. "Taxes or Fees? The Political Economy of Providing Excludable Public Goods," Journal of Public Economic Theory, Association for Public Economic Theory, vol. 7(3), pages 405-426, August.
    4. Bucovetsky, S., 1991. "Asymmetric tax competition," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 30(2), pages 167-181, September.
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    7. Bucovetsky, Sam & Wilson, John Douglas, 1991. "Tax competition with two tax instruments," Regional Science and Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 21(3), pages 333-350, November.
    8. Fuest, Clemens & Huber, Bernd & Mintz, Jack, 2005. "Capital Mobility and Tax Competition," Foundations and Trends(R) in Microeconomics, now publishers, vol. 1(1), pages 1-62, December.
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    10. Mintz, Jack & Tulkens, Henry, 1986. "Commodity tax competition between member states of a federation: equilibrium and efficiency," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 29(2), pages 133-172, March.
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    13. Hans-Werner Sinn, 2004. "The New Systems Competition," Perspektiven der Wirtschaftspolitik, Verein für Socialpolitik, vol. 5(1), pages 23-38, February.
    14. Laux-Meiselbach, Wolfgang, 1988. "Impossibility of exclusion and characteristics of public goods," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 36(1), pages 127-137, June.
    15. Zodrow, George R. & Mieszkowski, Peter, 1986. "Pigou, Tiebout, property taxation, and the underprovision of local public goods," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 19(3), pages 356-370, May.
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    17. Brito, Dagobert L & Oakland, William H, 1980. "On the Monopolistic Provision of Excludable Public Goods," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 70(4), pages 691-704, September.
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    19. Kanbur, Ravi & Keen, Michael, 1993. "Jeux Sans Frontieres: Tax Competition and Tax Coordination When Countries Differ in Size," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 83(4), pages 877-892, September.
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    21. Wilson, John Douglas, 1999. "Theories of Tax Competition," National Tax Journal, National Tax Association, vol. 52(n. 2), pages 269-304, June.
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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Lisa Grazzini & Alessandro Petretto, 2017. "Spillover Effects in a Federal Country with Vertical Tax Externalities," Public Finance Review, , vol. 45(5), pages 701-720, September.
    2. Martin Kolmar, 2015. "Costly Exclusion, Property-Rights Enforcement, and the Optimal Supply of Rival and Nonrival Goods," Journal of Institutional and Theoretical Economics (JITE), Mohr Siebeck, Tübingen, vol. 171(3), pages 405-431, September.
    3. repec:eee:poleco:v:48:y:2017:i:c:p:91-103 is not listed on IDEAS
    4. George Economides & Apostolis Philippopoulos & Stelios Sakkas, 2016. "Tuition Fees, as User Prices, and Private Incentives," CESifo Working Paper Series 5991, CESifo Group Munich.
    5. Clemens Fuest & Martin Kolmar, 2013. "Endogenous free riding and the decentralized user-fee financing of spillover goods in a n-region economy," International Tax and Public Finance, Springer;International Institute of Public Finance, vol. 20(2), pages 169-191, April.
    6. repec:eee:apmaco:v:331:y:2018:i:c:p:416-429 is not listed on IDEAS
    7. George Economides & Apostolis Philippopoulos, 2012. "Are User Fees Really Regressive?," CESifo Working Paper Series 3875, CESifo Group Munich.
    8. Jakobsson, Niklas & Nordblom, Katarina, 2009. "Intergovernmental grants and fiscal competition," Working Papers in Economics 338, University of Gothenburg, Department of Economics.

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    Keywords

    public goods; club goods; user fees; fiscal federalism;

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