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A Tax on Tax Revenue. The Incentive Effects of Equalizing Transfers: Evidence from Germany

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  • Bernd Huber
  • Christian Baretti
  • Karl Lichtblau

Abstract

Several recent studies suggest that equalizing transfers in a federal system may distort the tax policy decisions of states. We study this issue for the German federal fiscal system. In a simple theoretical model, we first identify a substitution and an income effect of equalizing transfers. Our main hypothesis is that both effects should tend to reduce tax revenue of German states. We perform various empirical tests which confirm this hypothesis.

Suggested Citation

  • Bernd Huber & Christian Baretti & Karl Lichtblau, 2000. "A Tax on Tax Revenue. The Incentive Effects of Equalizing Transfers: Evidence from Germany," CESifo Working Paper Series 333, CESifo.
  • Handle: RePEc:ces:ceswps:_333
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    1. Massimo Bordignon & Paolo Manasse & Guido Tabellini, 2001. "Optimal Regional Redistribution under Asymmetric Information," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 91(3), pages 709-723, June.
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    3. Nickell, Stephen J, 1981. "Biases in Dynamic Models with Fixed Effects," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 49(6), pages 1417-1426, November.
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    Cited by:

    1. Hans Pitlik & Friedrich Schneider & Harald Strotmann, 2006. "Legislative Malapportionment and the Politicization of Germany's Intergovernmental Transfer System," Public Finance Review, , vol. 34(6), pages 637-662, November.
    2. Ralf Hepp & Jürgen von Hagen, 2012. "Fiscal Federalism in Germany: Stabilization and Redistribution Before and After Unification," Publius: The Journal of Federalism, CSF Associates Inc., vol. 42(2), pages 234-259, April.
    3. Richard M Bird & Andrey V Tarasov, 2004. "Closing the Gap: Fiscal Imbalances and Intergovernmental Transfers in Developed Federations," Environment and Planning C, , vol. 22(1), pages 77-102, February.
    4. Pablo Sanguinetti & Martin Besfamille, 2004. "Exerting local tax effort or lobbying for central transfers?: Evidence from Argentina," Econometric Society 2004 Latin American Meetings 249, Econometric Society.
    5. Suraj BADAIK, 2017. "Impact of fiscal responsibility legislations on state finances in India," Theoretical and Applied Economics, Asociatia Generala a Economistilor din Romania / Editura Economica, vol. 0(3(612), A), pages 115-124, Autumn.
    6. Santiago Lago Peñas, 2002. "Nivelación interterritorial e ineficiencia de las decisiones presupuestarias: reflexiones para el caso español," Hacienda Pública Española / Review of Public Economics, IEF, vol. 162(3), pages 79-100, ¨Septembe.
    7. Bird, Richard M. & Smart, Michael, 2002. "Intergovernmental Fiscal Transfers: International Lessons for Developing Countries," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 30(6), pages 899-912, June.
    8. Lenk Thomas, 2004. "Mehr Wettbewerb im bundesstaatlichen Finanzausgleich?: Eine allokative und distributive Wirkungsanalyse für das Jahr 2005 unter Berücksichtigung der Neuregelungen," Journal of Economics and Statistics (Jahrbuecher fuer Nationaloekonomie und Statistik), De Gruyter, vol. 224(3), pages 351-378, June.
    9. Friedrich Schneider & Hans Pitlik & Harald Strotmann & Günther Schmid, 2001. "On the politicization of intergovernmental fiscal relations in Germany after unification," Economics working papers 2001-05, Department of Economics, Johannes Kepler University Linz, Austria.
    10. Richard M. Bird, 2012. "The GST/HST: Creating an Integrated Sales Tax in a Federal Country," SPP Research Papers, The School of Public Policy, University of Calgary, vol. 5(12), March.
    11. Robert Fenge & Jakob von Weizsäcker, 2001. "How Much Fiscal Equalization? A Constitutional Approach," Journal of Institutional and Theoretical Economics (JITE), Mohr Siebeck, Tübingen, vol. 157(4), pages 623-633, December.
    12. Prasant Kumar Panda & Velan Nirmala, 2013. "Central Fiscal Transfers and States' Spending In India: An Analysis of Incentive Effect," Economics Bulletin, AccessEcon, vol. 33(2), pages 1229-1246.
    13. Torrisi, Gianpiero & Pike, Andy & Tomaney, John & Tselios, Vassilis, 2011. "Defining and measuring decentralisation: a critical review," MPRA Paper 51441, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    14. Prasant Kumar Panda, 2009. "Central Fiscal Transfers and States’ Own-Revenue Efforts in India," Margin: The Journal of Applied Economic Research, National Council of Applied Economic Research, vol. 3(3), pages 223-242, July.
    15. Baretti, Christian & Huber, Bernd & Lichtblau, Karl, 2001. "Die Reform des Finanzausgleichs im Spannungsfeld zwischen ökonomischer Rationalität und Besitzstandsdenken," IW-Trends – Vierteljahresschrift zur empirischen Wirtschaftsforschung, Institut der deutschen Wirtschaft (IW) / German Economic Institute, vol. 28(2), pages 38-58.
    16. Angel De la Fuente & Christian Kastrop & Michael Thöne, 2016. "Regional Financing in Germany and Spain: Comparative Reform Perspectives," Working Papers 16/04, BBVA Bank, Economic Research Department.
    17. Christian Baretti & Bernd Huber & Karl Lichtblau, 2001. "Examining the law reforming the German revenue sharing system," ifo Schnelldienst, ifo Institute - Leibniz Institute for Economic Research at the University of Munich, vol. 54(11), pages 12-20, October.
    18. Lkhagvadorj, Ariunaa, 2010. "Fiscal Federalism and Decentralization in Mongolia," MPRA Paper 28758, University Library of Munich, Germany, revised Mar 2010.
    19. Robert Fenge & Jakob von Weizsäcker, 2000. "How Much Fiscal Equalisation?," CESifo Working Paper Series 366, CESifo.
    20. Christian Baretti, 2002. "Are states being punished for their successful efforts in attracting business? The incentives of the municipal finance system," ifo Schnelldienst, ifo Institute - Leibniz Institute for Economic Research at the University of Munich, vol. 55(07), pages 10-16, April.
    21. Büttner Thiess & Schwager Robert, 2003. "Länderautonomie in der Einkommensteuer: Konsequenzen eines Zuschlagsmodells / Income Tax Autonomy of German States: Reform Options and Consequences," Journal of Economics and Statistics (Jahrbuecher fuer Nationaloekonomie und Statistik), De Gruyter, vol. 223(5), pages 532-555, October.

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