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Leviathans, Federal Transfers, and the Cartelization Hypothesis

  • Marko Koethenbuerger

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.JEL classification: H7, H1, H20

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File URL: http://www.cesifo-group.de/portal/page/portal/DocBase_Content/WP/WP-CESifo_Working_Papers/wp-cesifo-2004/wp-cesifo-2004-04/cesifo1_wp1180.pdf
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Paper provided by CESifo Group Munich in its series CESifo Working Paper Series with number 1180.

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Date of creation: 2004
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Handle: RePEc:ces:ceswps:_1180
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  1. Michael Keen, 1997. "Vertical Tax Externalities in the Theory of Fiscal Federalism," IMF Working Papers 97/173, International Monetary Fund.
  2. 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, 04.
  3. Sam Bucovetsky & Michael Smart, 2002. "The Efficiency Consequences of Local Revenue Equalization: Tax Competition and Tax Distortions," CESifo Working Paper Series 767, CESifo Group Munich.
  4. Matthias Wrede, 2000. "Shared Tax Sources and Public Expenditures," International Tax and Public Finance, Springer, vol. 7(2), pages 163-175, March.
  5. 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.
  6. 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 613-33, November.
  7. Edwards, Jeremy & Keen, Michael, 1996. "Tax competition and Leviathan," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 40(1), pages 113-134, January.
  8. 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.
  9. Marko Köthenbürger, 2002. "Tax Competition and Fiscal Equalization," International Tax and Public Finance, Springer, vol. 9(4), pages 391-408, August.
  10. repec:cup:cbooks:9780521027922 is not listed on IDEAS
  11. 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.
  12. James M. Buchanan, 1952. "Federal Grants and Resource Allocation," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 60, pages 208.
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