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International Spillover Effects of Sectoral Tax Differentiation in Unionized Economies

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  • Bertil Holmlund
  • Ann-Sofie Kolm

Abstract

The European Union has recently proposed sectoral tax differentiation as a policy to fight unemployment. The member countries are allowed to reduce the VAT rates on goods and services that are particularly labor intensive and price elastic. The paper provides a theoretical analysis of the effects of such tax reforms, with particular emphasis on the international repercussions of the policies. To that end we develop a two-country and two-sector model with monopolistic competition in the goods market and wage bargaining in the labor market. Policy externalities operate through the endogenously determined terms of trade. We examine how national and supranational commodity tax policies affect sectoral and total employment and characterize optimal commodity taxes with and without international policy cooperation. Some rough estimates of the welfare gains from policy coordination are also presented, using a calibrated version of the model.

Suggested Citation

  • Bertil Holmlund & Ann-Sofie Kolm, 2000. "International Spillover Effects of Sectoral Tax Differentiation in Unionized Economies," CESifo Working Paper Series 295, CESifo Group Munich.
  • Handle: RePEc:ces:ceswps:_295
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Jan Sørensen, 1994. "Market integration and imperfect competition in labor and product markets," Open Economies Review, Springer, vol. 5(1), pages 115-130, March.
    2. Danthine, Jean-Pierre & Hunt, Jennifer, 1994. "Wage Bargaining Structure, Employment and Economic Integration," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 104(424), pages 528-541, May.
    3. Bertil Holmlund & Ann-Sofie Kolm, 2000. "Environmental Tax Reform in a Small Open Economy With Structural Unemployment," International Tax and Public Finance, Springer;International Institute of Public Finance, vol. 7(3), pages 315-333, May.
    4. Rauch, James E., 1999. "Networks versus markets in international trade," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, pages 7-35.
    5. Keen, Michael & Lahiri, Sajal, 1998. "The comparison between destination and origin principles under imperfect competition," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, pages 323-350.
    6. Pissarides, Christopher A., 1998. "The impact of employment tax cuts on unemployment and wages; The role of unemployment benefits and tax structure," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 42(1), pages 155-183, January.
    7. Lockwood, Ben, 1993. "Commodity tax competition under destination and origin principles," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, pages 141-162.
    8. Driffill, John & van der Ploeg, Frederick, 1993. "Monopoly Unions and the Liberalisation of International Trade," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 103(417), pages 379-385, March.
    9. Holmlund, B. & Kolm, A.-S., 1999. "Economic Integration, Imperfect Competition, and International Policy Coordination," Papers 1999:7, Uppsala - Working Paper Series.
    10. Huizinga, Harry, 1993. " International Market Integration and Union Wage Bargaining," Scandinavian Journal of Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 95(2), pages 249-255.
    11. van der ploeg, F., 1987. "Coordination of optimal taxation in a two-country equilibrium model," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 24(3), pages 279-285.
    12. Naylor, Robin, 1998. "International trade and economic integration when labour markets are generally unionised," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 42(7), pages 1251-1267, July.
    13. Kolm, Ann-Sofie, 1998. "Differentiated payroll taxes, unemployment, and welfare," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 70(2), pages 255-271, November.
    14. Andersen, Torben M. & Sorensen, Jan Rose, 1995. "Unemployment and fiscal policy in an economic and monetary union," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 11(1), pages 27-43, March.
    15. Driffill, John & van der Ploeg, Frederick, 1995. " Trade Liberalization with Imperfect Competition in Goods and Labour Markets," Scandinavian Journal of Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 97(2), pages 223-243, June.
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    Cited by:

    1. Jan Boone & Peter Fredriksson & Bertil Holmlund & Jan C. van Ours, 2007. "Optimal Unemployment Insurance with Monitoring and Sanctions," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 117(518), pages 399-421, March.
    2. Engström, Per & Holmlund, Bertil & Kolm, Ann-Sofie, 2001. "Optimal Taxation in Search Equilibrium with Home Production," Working Paper Series 2001:19, Uppsala University, Department of Economics.
    3. Hennessy Peter & Warin Thierry, 2004. "One Welfare State for Europe: A Costly Utopia?," Global Economy Journal, De Gruyter, vol. 4(2), pages 1-17, December.

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