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Choosing Club Membership under Tax Competition and Free Riding

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  • Hyun Park
  • Apostolis Philippopoulos

Abstract

We study the choice of club membership, when member-countries’ national governments set their tax policies non-cooperatively. Federal policy (in the form of club membership) has a higher constitutional status than national policies (in the form of income tax rates). This allows federal policy to reduce the inefficiencies arising from uncoordinated national policies. We show that equilibrium membership decreases with any factors that generate Nash-type inefficiencies; growing capital mobility is one such factor. In the particular case in which these inefficiencies take the form of tax competition for mobile tax bases and free riding on other countries’ contribution to international public goods, one can rationalize the formation of very small economic unions only. The normative result is that union enlargement requires a switch from uncoordinated to coordinated national fiscal policies.

Suggested Citation

  • Hyun Park & Apostolis Philippopoulos, 2003. "Choosing Club Membership under Tax Competition and Free Riding," CESifo Working Paper Series 985, CESifo Group Munich.
  • Handle: RePEc:ces:ceswps:_985
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    File URL: https://www.cesifo-group.de/DocDL/cesifo_wp985.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Devereux, Michael P. & Lockwood, Ben & Redoano, Michela, 2008. "Do countries compete over corporate tax rates?," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 92(5-6), pages 1210-1235, June.
    2. Persson, Torsten & Tabellini, Guido, 1995. "Double-edged incentives: Institutions and policy coordination," Handbook of International Economics, in: G. M. Grossman & K. Rogoff (ed.), Handbook of International Economics, edition 1, volume 3, chapter 38, pages 1973-2030, Elsevier.
    3. Russell Cooper & Andrew John, 1988. "Coordinating Coordination Failures in Keynesian Models," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 103(3), pages 441-463.
    4. Torsten Persson & Guido Tabellini, 1992. "The Politics of 1992: Fiscal Policy and European Integration," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 59(4), pages 689-701.
    5. Caplan, Arthur J. & Cornes, Richard C. & Silva, Emilson C. D., 2000. "Pure public goods and income redistribution in a federation with decentralized leadership and imperfect labor mobility," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 77(2), pages 265-284, August.
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    Cited by:

    1. Pierre Salmon, 2003. "The assignment of powers in an open-ended European Union," Post-Print hal-00445601, HAL.
    2. Libman, Alexander Mikhailovich, 2009. "Эндогенные Границы И Распределение Власти В Федерациях И Международных Сообществах
      [ENDOGENOUS BOUNDARIES AND DISTRIBUTION OF POWER In the Federation]
      ," MPRA Paper 16473, University Library of Munich, Germany.

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    Keywords

    clubs; capital mobility; federalism;

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