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Tax Competition under Minimum Rates: The Case of European Diesel Excises

  • Michiel Evers
  • Herman R. J. Vollebergh
  • Ruud A. de Mooij

This paper estimates Nash-type fiscal reaction functions for European governments competing for revenue from diesel excises. It appears that European governments strategically set their excise levels by responding to their neighbors’ tax rates. This provides evidence for the presence of tax competition in diesel excises. In fact, a 10 percent higher rate in neighboring countries (in terms of the user price) induces a country to raise its own rate by between 2 and 3 percent. This impact is robust for alternative specifications. By imposing restrictions on excise levels, EU harmonization of excises in 1987 and the introduction of a minimum in 1992 exerted a positive impact on the excise level in a number of EU countries. It has not, however, significantly reduced the intensity of tax competition. Indeed, strategic tax responses have not significantly been reduced by these harmonization policies. We also find that high-tax countries appear to compete more aggressively than low-tax countries in the sense that they feature larger strategic tax responses. There is no significant difference between large and small countries.

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Paper provided by CESifo Group Munich in its series CESifo Working Paper Series with number 1221.

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Date of creation: 2004
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Handle: RePEc:ces:ceswps:_1221
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  1. Rosanne Altshuler & Timothy J. Goodspeed, 2002. "Follow the Leader? Evidence on European and U.S. Tax Competition," Departmental Working Papers 200226, Rutgers University, Department of Economics.
  2. Devereux, Michael P. & Lockwood, Ben & Redoano, Michela, 2008. "Do countries compete over corporate tax rates?," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 92(5-6), pages 1210-1235, June.
  3. Ravi Kanbur & Michael Keen, 1991. "Jeux Sans Frontieres: Tax Competition and Tax Coordination when Countries Differ in Size," Working Papers 819, Queen's University, Department of Economics.
  4. Levinson, Arik, 2003. "Environmental Regulatory Competition: A Status Report and Some New Evidence," National Tax Journal, National Tax Association, vol. 56(1), pages 91-106, March.
  5. Ruud de Mooij & S. Ederveen, 2001. "Taxation and foreign direct investment; a synthesis of empirical research," CPB Discussion Paper 3, CPB Netherlands Bureau for Economic Policy Analysis.
  6. Wilson, John Douglas, 1999. "Theories of Tax Competition," National Tax Journal, National Tax Association, vol. 52(n. 2), pages 269-304, June.
  7. Devereux, Michael & Lockwood, Ben & Redoano, Michela, 2004. "Horizontal And Vertical Indirect Tax Competition : Theory And Some Evidence From The Usa," The Warwick Economics Research Paper Series (TWERPS) 704, University of Warwick, Department of Economics.
  8. Michael P. Devereux & Rachel Griffith & Alexander Klemm, 2002. "Corporate income tax reforms and international tax competition," Economic Policy, CEPR;CES;MSH, vol. 17(35), pages 449-495, October.
  9. Ruud A. de Mooij & Sjef Ederveen, 2001. "Taxation and Foreign Direct Investment: A Synthesis of Empirical Research," CESifo Working Paper Series 588, CESifo Group Munich.
  10. Cnossen,Sijbren, 2002. "Tax policy in the european union, A review of issues and options," Research Memorandum 023, Maastricht University, Maastricht Research School of Economics of Technology and Organization (METEOR).
  11. Sijbren Cnossen, 2002. "Tax Policy in the European Union: A Review of Issues and Options," CESifo Working Paper Series 758, CESifo Group Munich.
  12. Zodrow, George R, 2003. "Tax Competition and Tax Coordination in the European Union," International Tax and Public Finance, Springer, vol. 10(6), pages 651-71, November.
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