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Tax Competition in a Fiscal Union with Decentralized Leadership

  • Marko Koethenbuerger

This paper examines capital tax competition in the presence of an interstate transfer policy without federal commitment. Lack of commitment implies that tax policy is chosen prior to federal transfers. The paper’s main result is that ex-post federal policy internalizes horizontal fiscal externalities, insulating tax policy from capital mobility. Federal policy, however, introduces a new source of inefficiency unrelated to tax competition. Specifically, ex-post transfer payments prove to be equivalent to an interstate revenue-sharing system which may render federal intervention in the presence of fiscal externalities welfare-deteriorating relative to tax competition.

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Paper provided by CESifo Group Munich in its series CESifo Working Paper Series with number 943.

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Date of creation: 2003
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Handle: RePEc:ces:ceswps:_943
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  1. Torsten Persson & Guido Tabellini, 1990. "The Politics of 1992: Fiscal Policy and European Integration," NBER Working Papers 3460, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. John F. Helliwell & Ross McKitrick, 1999. "Comparing Capital Mobility Across Provincial and National Borders," Canadian Journal of Economics, Canadian Economics Association, vol. 32(5), pages 1164-1173, November.
  3. DePeter James A. & Myers Gordon M., 1994. "Strategic Capital Tax Competition: A Pecuniary Externality and a Corrective Device," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 36(1), pages 66-78, July.
  4. Bucovetsky, Sam & Wilson, John Douglas, 1991. "Tax competition with two tax instruments," Regional Science and Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 21(3), pages 333-350, November.
  5. WILDASIN, David E., . "Interjurisdictional capital mobility: Fiscal externality and a corrective subsidy," CORE Discussion Papers RP -831, Université catholique de Louvain, Center for Operations Research and Econometrics (CORE).
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  7. Cremer, Helmuth & Gahvari, Firouz, 2000. "Tax evasion, fiscal competition and economic integration," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 44(9), pages 1633-1657, October.
  8. Marko Köthenbürger, 2002. "Tax Competition and Fiscal Equalization," International Tax and Public Finance, Springer, vol. 9(4), pages 391-408, August.
  9. Michael Keen, 1998. "Vertical Tax Externalities in the Theory of Fiscal Federalism," IMF Staff Papers, Palgrave Macmillan, vol. 45(3), pages 454-485, September.
  10. Robin Boadway and Michael Keen, . "Efficiency and the Optimal Direction of Federal-State Transfers," Economics Discussion Papers 445, University of Essex, Department of Economics.
  11. Qian, Yingyi & Roland, Gerard, 1998. "Federalism and the Soft Budget Constraint," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 88(5), pages 1143-62, December.
  12. Chirinko, Robert S. & Fazzari, Steven M. & Meyer, Andrew P., 1999. "How responsive is business capital formation to its user cost?: An exploration with micro data," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 74(1), pages 53-80, October.
  13. Eckhard Janeba, 2000. "Tax Competition When Governments Lack Commitment: Excess Capacity as a Countervailing Threat," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 90(5), pages 1508-1519, December.
  14. Myers, Gordon M., 1990. "Optimality, free mobility, and the regional authority in a federation," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 43(1), pages 107-121, October.
  15. James Poterba, 1992. "Capital Budgets, Borrowing Rules, and State Capital Spending," NBER Working Papers 4235, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  16. Michael Smart, 1998. "Taxation and Deadweight Loss in a System of Intergovernmental Transfers," Canadian Journal of Economics, Canadian Economics Association, vol. 31(1), pages 189-206, February.
  17. David E. Wildasin, 2001. "Externalities and Bailouts: Hard and Soft Budget Constraints in Intergovernmental Fiscal Relations," Public Economics 0112002, EconWPA.
  18. Bjorvatn, K. & Schjelderup, G., 2000. "Tax Competition and International Public Goods," Papers 15/00, Norwegian School of Economics and Business Administration-.
  19. Hoyt, William H., 2001. "Tax Policy Coordination, Vertical Externalities, and Optimal Taxation in a System of Hierarchical Governments," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 50(3), pages 491-516, November.
  20. Carlo Perroni & Kimberley A. Scharf, . "Tiebout with Politics: Capital Tax Competition and Constitutional Choices," EPRU Working Paper Series 97-05, Economic Policy Research Unit (EPRU), University of Copenhagen. Department of Economics.
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  23. Silva, Emilson C. D. & Caplan, Arthur J., 1997. "Transboundary Pollution Control in Federal Systems," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 34(2), pages 173-186, October.
  24. Masayoshi Hayashi & Robin Boadway, 2001. "An empirical analysis of intergovernmental tax interaction: the case of business income taxes in Canada," Canadian Journal of Economics, Canadian Economics Association, vol. 34(2), pages 481-503, May.
  25. repec:cup:cbooks:9780521630351 is not listed on IDEAS
  26. Robin W. Boadway & Frank R. Flatters, 1982. "Efficiency and Equalization Payments in a Federal System of Government: A Synthesis and Extension of Recent Results," Canadian Journal of Economics, Canadian Economics Association, vol. 15(4), pages 613-33, November.
  27. Michael J. Keen & Christos Kotsogiannis, 2002. "Does Federalism Lead to Excessively High Taxes?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 92(1), pages 363-370, March.
  28. Zodrow, George R. & Mieszkowski, Peter, 1986. "Pigou, Tiebout, property taxation, and the underprovision of local public goods," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 19(3), pages 356-370, May.
  29. Jonathan A. Rodden & Gunnar S. Eskeland (ed.), 2003. "Fiscal Decentralization and the Challenge of Hard Budget Constraints," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 0262182297, June.
  30. Caplan, Arthur J. & Silva, Emilson C. D., 1999. "Federal Acid Rain Games," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 46(1), pages 25-52, July.
  31. Mitsui, Kiyoshi & Sato, Motohiro, 2001. "Ex ante free mobility, ex post immobility, and time consistency in a federal system," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 82(3), pages 445-460, December.
  32. Bev Dahlby, 1996. "Fiscal externalities and the design of intergovernmental grants," International Tax and Public Finance, Springer, vol. 3(3), pages 397-412, July.
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