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Public debt asymmetries: the effect on taxes and spending in the European Union

  • Krogstrup, Signe

The aim of this paper is two-fold: First, assuming public debts are pre-determined and in their steady state in EU countries, the paper investigates the effect of asymmetric debt service obligations on taxes, primary spending and the tax mix in EU countries. Second, it investigates how increased tax competition may change these effects. The impact of debt service on taxes, primary spending and the tax mix is derived in a simple model of tax competition, and the hypotheses derived from the model are tested empirically for a panel of EU countries. Cross- countrdifferences in public debts are found to lead to asymmetries in taxes and primary expenditures across EU countries, with high debt countries having lower expenditures and higher taxes than low debt countries. Capital mobility is found to increase these asymmetries, and trigger cross-country asymmetries in the tax mix of EU countries. JEL Classification: H6, H23, H73, H87, F02

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Paper provided by European Central Bank in its series Working Paper Series with number 0162.

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Date of creation: Aug 2002
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Handle: RePEc:ecb:ecbwps:20020162
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  1. Réjane Hugounenq & Jacques Le Cacheux & Thierry Madiès, 1999. "Diversité des fiscalités européennes et risque de concurrence fiscale," Sciences Po publications info:hdl:2441/2094, Sciences Po.
  2. Dani Rodrik, 1998. "Why Do More Open Economies Have Bigger Governments?," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 106(5), pages 997-1032, October.
  3. Mark Hallerberg & Jurgen von Hagen, 1997. "Electoral Institutions, Cabinet Negotiations, and Budget Deficits in the European Union," NBER Working Papers 6341, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  4. Signe Krogstrup, 2003. "Are Capital Taxes Racing to the Bottom in the European Union?," IHEID Working Papers 01-2003, Economics Section, The Graduate Institute of International Studies.
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