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Pareto Efficiency in International Taxation

  • Michael Keen
  • David E. Wildasin

This paper addresses a key but neglected task in the theory of international taxation, lent increased urgency by growing awareness of the potential gains from tax coordination: the characterization of Pareto-efficient international tax regimes. It shows that the Diamond-Mirrlees theorem on the desirability of production efficiency, which underlies the key tenets of policy advice in international taxation ? the desirability of destination basis for commodity taxation, of the residence principle for capital income taxation, and of free trade ? is rendered inherently inapplicable to problems of international tax design by the distinctness of national budget constraints that is of the essence in thinking about international taxation. Conditions are established ? relating to the availability of explicit or implicit devices for reallocating tax revenues across countries ? under which production efficiency is nevertheless desirable, and a general characterization developed of the precise ways in which Pareto-efficient international taxation may require violation of established tenets.

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Paper provided by CESifo Group Munich in its series CESifo Working Paper Series with number 371.

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Date of creation: 2000
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:ces:ceswps:_371
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  1. Auerbach, Alan J., 1985. "The theory of excess burden and optimal taxation," Handbook of Public Economics, in: A. J. Auerbach & M. Feldstein (ed.), Handbook of Public Economics, edition 1, volume 1, chapter 2, pages 61-127 Elsevier.
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  3. Robin Boadway and Michael Keen, . "Efficiency and the Optimal Direction of Federal-State Transfers," Economics Discussion Papers 445, University of Essex, Department of Economics.
  4. Michael Keen, 1993. "The welfare economics of tax co-ordination in the European Community : a survey," Fiscal Studies, Institute for Fiscal Studies, vol. 14(2), pages 15-36, February.
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  6. Huizinga, H.P. & Nielsen, S.B., 1995. "Capital income and profits taxation with foreign ownership of firms," Discussion Paper 1995-82, Tilburg University, Center for Economic Research.
  7. Richard Harris, 1976. "Efficient Commodity Taxation," Working Papers 243, Queen's University, Department of Economics.
  8. Partha Dasgupta & Joseph E. Stiglitz, 1972. "Benefit-Cost Analysis and Trade Policies," Cowles Foundation Discussion Papers 340, Cowles Foundation for Research in Economics, Yale University.
  9. Eggert, Wolfgang & Haufler, Andreas, 1999. "Capital taxation and production efficiency in an open economy," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 62(1), pages 85-90, January.
  10. Keen, Michael & Lahiri, Sajal, 1998. "The comparison between destination and origin principles under imperfect competition," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 45(2), pages 323-350, August.
  11. Arja H. Turunen-Red & Alan D. Woodland, 1996. "Recent Developments in Multilateral Policy Reform," Canadian Journal of Economics, Canadian Economics Association, vol. 29(s1), pages 394-400, April.
  12. Bhagwati, Jagdish N & Brecher, Richard A & Hatta, Tatsuo, 1983. "The Generalized Theory of Transfers and Welfare: Bilateral Transfers in a Multilateral World," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 73(4), pages 606-18, September.
  13. Kotsogiannis, Christos & Makris, Miltiadis, 2002. "On production efficiency in federal systems," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 76(2), pages 281-287, July.
  14. Wildasin, David E., 1984. "The welfare effects of intergovernmental grants in an economy with distortionary local taxes : A simple general equilibrium analysis," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 25(1-2), pages 103-125, November.
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  16. repec:oup:restud:v:39:y:1972:i:1:p:87-103 is not listed on IDEAS
  17. Stiglitz, Joseph E., 1982. "Self-selection and Pareto efficient taxation," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 17(2), pages 213-240, March.
  18. repec:oup:restud:v:56:y:1989:i:2:p:199-215 is not listed on IDEAS
  19. Devarajan, Shantayanan & Go, Delfin & Schiff, Maurice & Suthiwart-Narueput, Sethaput, 1996. "The whys and why nots of export taxation," Policy Research Working Paper Series 1684, The World Bank.
  20. Stefan Homburg, 1999. "Competition and Co-ordination in International Capital Income Taxation," FinanzArchiv: Public Finance Analysis, Mohr Siebeck, Tübingen, vol. 56(1), pages 1-17, March.
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  23. Ebrill, Liam P. & Slutsky, Steven M., 1989. "Decentralized decision making with common goals : The a[right ceiling]truists' dilemma and regulatory pricing," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 5(2-3), pages 177-201.
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