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Is Partial Tax Harmonization Desirable?

  • Conconi, Paola
  • Perroni, Carlo
  • Riezman, Raymond

We consider a setting in which capital taxation is characterized by two distortions working in opposite directions. On one hand, governments engage in tax competition and are tempted to lower capital tax rates. On the other hand, they are unable to commit to future policies and, once capital has been installed, have incentives to increase taxes. In this setting, there exists a tax that optimally trades off the two distortions. We compare three possible tax harmonization scenarios: no tax harmonization (all countries set taxes unilaterally), global tax harmonization (all countries coordinate their capital taxes), and partial tax harmonization (only a subset of all countries coordinate capital taxes). We show that, if capital is sufficiently mobile, partial tax harmonization benefits all countries compared to both global and no harmonization. Our analysis provides a rationale for the proposed creation of an Enhanced Cooperation Agreement on capital taxes within the European Union.

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Paper provided by C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers in its series CEPR Discussion Papers with number 5761.

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Date of creation: Jul 2006
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Handle: RePEc:cpr:ceprdp:5761
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  1. Kanbur, Ravi & Keen, Michael, 1993. "Jeux Sans Frontieres: Tax Competition and Tax Coordination When Countries Differ in Size," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 83(4), pages 877-92, September.
  2. Jeremy Edwards & Michael Keen, 1994. "Tax competition and Leviathon," IFS Working Papers W94/07, Institute for Fiscal Studies.
  3. Conconi, P. & Perroni, C., 2000. "Issue Linkage and Issue Tie-in in Multilateral Negotiations," The Warwick Economics Research Paper Series (TWERPS) 558, University of Warwick, Department of Economics.
  4. repec:cup:cbooks:9780521027922 is not listed on IDEAS
  5. Devereux, Michael P. & Lockwood, Ben & Redoano, Michela, 2002. "Do Countries Compete over Corporate Tax Rates?," CEPR Discussion Papers 3400, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  6. Paola Conconi & Carlo Perroni, 2009. "Do Credible Domestic Institutions Promote Credible International Agreements?," ULB Institutional Repository 2013/98549, ULB -- Universite Libre de Bruxelles.
  7. Wilson, John Douglas & Wildasin, David E., 2004. "Capital tax competition: bane or boon," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 88(6), pages 1065-1091, June.
  8. Benhabib, J. & Rustichini, A., 1996. "Optimal Taxes Without Commitment," Working Papers 96-18, C.V. Starr Center for Applied Economics, New York University.
  9. Persson, Torsten & Tabellini, Guido, 1992. "The Politics of 1992: Fiscal Policy and European Integration," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 59(4), pages 689-701, October.
  10. Paul Krugman, 1991. "The move toward free trade zones," Proceedings - Economic Policy Symposium - Jackson Hole, Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City, pages 7-58.
  11. V.V. Chari & Patrick J. Kehoe & Edward C. Prescott, 1988. "Time consistency and policy," Staff Report 115, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis.
  12. Konrad, Kai A. & Schjelderup, Guttorm, 1999. "Fortress Building in Global Tax Competition," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 46(1), pages 156-167, July.
  13. Slemrod, Joel & Hansen, Carl & Procter, Roger, 1997. "The seesaw principle in international tax policy," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 65(2), pages 163-176, August.
  14. Bacchetta, Philippe & Espinosa, Maria Paz, 1995. "Information sharing and tax competition among governments," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 39(1-2), pages 103-121, August.
  15. Lucas, Robert E, Jr, 1990. "Supply-Side Economics: An Analytical Review," Oxford Economic Papers, Oxford University Press, vol. 42(2), pages 293-316, April.
  16. Paola Conconi & Carlo Perroni, 2002. "Issue Linkage and Issue Tie-in in International Negotiations," ULB Institutional Repository 2013/5839, ULB -- Universite Libre de Bruxelles.
  17. Stiglitz, Joseph E., 1987. "Pareto efficient and optimal taxation and the new new welfare economics," Handbook of Public Economics, in: A. J. Auerbach & M. Feldstein (ed.), Handbook of Public Economics, edition 1, volume 2, chapter 15, pages 991-1042 Elsevier.
  18. Rogers, Carol Ann, 1987. "Expenditure taxes, income taxes, and time-inconsistency," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 32(2), pages 215-230, March.
  19. repec:cup:cbooks:9780521233293 is not listed on IDEAS
  20. Fischer, Stanley, 1980. "Dynamic inconsistency, cooperation and the benevolent dissembling government," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 2(1), pages 93-107, May.
  21. Peter Birch Sørensen, 2000. "The case for international tax co-ordination reconsidered," Economic Policy, CEPR;CES;MSH, vol. 15(31), pages 429-472, October.
  22. 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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