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Cross-Border Tax Externalities: Are Budget Deficits too Small?

  • Willem H. Buiter
  • Anne C. Sibert

In a dynamic optimising model with costly tax collection, a tax cut by one nation creates positive externalities for the rest of the world if initial public debt stocks are positive. By reducing tax collection costs, current tax cuts boost the resources available for current private consumption, lowering the global interest rate. This pecuniary externality benefits other countries because it reduces the tax collection costs for foreign governments of current and future debt service. In the non-cooperative equilibrium, nationalistic governments do not allow for the effect of lower domestic taxes on debt service costs abroad. Taxes are too high and government budget deficits too low compared to the global cooperative equilibrium. Even in the cooperative equilibrium complete tax smoothing is not optimal: current taxes will be lower than future taxes.

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Paper provided by UCLA Department of Economics in its series Levine's Bibliography with number 666156000000000430.

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Date of creation: 11 Dec 2003
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Handle: RePEc:cla:levrem:666156000000000430
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  1. Sinn, Hans-Werner, 1990. "Tax harmonization and tax competition in Europe," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 34(2-3), pages 489-504, May.
  2. Kehoe, Patrick J., 1987. "Coordination of fiscal policies in a world economy," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 19(3), pages 349-376, May.
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  9. Lucas, Robert Jr., 1988. "On the mechanics of economic development," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 22(1), pages 3-42, July.
  10. Barro, Robert J., 1979. "On the Determination of the Public Debt," Scholarly Articles 3451400, Harvard University Department of Economics.
  11. Kehoe, Patrick J, 1989. "Policy Cooperation among Benevolent Governments May Be Undesirable," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 56(2), pages 289-96, April.
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