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Tax Principles and Tax Harmonization under Imperfect Competition: A Cautionary Example

  • Michael Keen
  • Sajal Lahiri
  • Pascalis Raimondos-Møller

This paper shows that under imperfect competition the welfare effects of indirect tax harmonization may depend crucially on whether taxes are levied by the destination or the origin principle. In a standard model of imperfect competition, while harmonization always makes at least one country better off, and may be Pareto-improving, when taxes are levied under the destination principle (which currently applies in the European Union), harmonization of origin-based taxes (as recently proposed by the European Commission) is certain to be Pareto-worsening when the preferences in the two countries are identical, and is likely to be so even when they differ.

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Paper provided by CESifo Group Munich in its series CESifo Working Paper Series with number 518.

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Date of creation: 2001
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:ces:ceswps:_518
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  1. Keen, Michael & Lahiri, Sajal, 1993. "Domestic tax reform and international oligopoly," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 51(1), pages 55-74, May.
  2. Keen, Michael, 1987. "Welfare effects of commodity tax harmonisation," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 33(1), pages 107-114, June.
  3. Lahiri, Sajal & Raimondos-Moller, Pascalis, 1998. "Public good provision and the welfare effects of indirect tax harmonisation," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 67(2), pages 253-267, February.
  4. Lopez-Garcia, Miguel-Angel, 1998. "On welfare and revenue effects of indirect tax harmonization," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 60(2), pages 185-193, August.
  5. Michael Keen & Sajal Lahiri, 1994. "The comparison between destination and origin principles under imperfect competition," IFS Working Papers W94/08, Institute for Fiscal Studies.
  6. Andreas Haufler & Guttorm Schjelderup & Frank Stähler, 2000. "Commodity Taxation and International Trade in Imperfect Markets," CESifo Working Paper Series 376, CESifo Group Munich.
  7. Lockwood, B., 2000. "Tax Competition and Tax Co-Ordination Under Destination and Origin Principles: A Synthesis," The Warwick Economics Research Paper Series (TWERPS) 567, University of Warwick, Department of Economics.
  8. Keen, Michael, 1989. "Pareto-improving indirect tax harmonisation," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 33(1), pages 1-12, January.
  9. Miguel-Angel Lopez-Garcia, 1996. "The origin principle and the welfare gains from indirect tax harmonization," International Tax and Public Finance, Springer, vol. 3(1), pages 83-93, January.
  10. Ben Lockwood & David Meza & Gareth Myles, 1994. "When are origin and destination regimes equivalent?," International Tax and Public Finance, Springer, vol. 1(1), pages 5-24, February.
  11. Delipalla, Sophia, 1997. "Commodity tax harmonisation and public goods," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 63(3), pages 447-466, February.
  12. Jones, Ronald W, 1985. "Income Effects and Paradoxes in the Theory of International Trade," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 95(378), pages 330-44, June.
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