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Federal Tax Competition and the Efficiency Consequences for Local Taxation of Revenue Equalization

  • Christos Kotsogiannis

    (Department of Economics, University of Exeter)

Recent work has shown that a system of equalization grants can limit tax competition among lower-level governments. The structure of such models, however, does not allow for the federal to be an active player but its role is being limited in the administration of the equalization grants. The implication of this is that potentially important, for the efficiency properties of lower-level government taxation, vertical fiscal externalities are ignored. This paper introduces equalization grants into a standard federal capital tax competition model in which fiscal externalities arise not only horizontally, between jurisdictions, but also vertically between the levels of government. It is shown that, even in the presence of vertical fiscal inefficiencies, efficiency in the level of lower-level government taxation can be achieved by a modifying version of a standard equalization grant formula.

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Paper provided by Exeter University, Department of Economics in its series Discussion Papers with number 0701.

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Date of creation: 2007
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:exe:wpaper:0701
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  1. Leonzio Rizzo, 2008. "Local government responsiveness to federal transfers: theory and evidence," International Tax and Public Finance, Springer, vol. 15(3), pages 316-337, June.
  2. 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.
  3. Bev Dahlby, 2008. "The Marginal Cost of Public Funds: Theory and Applications," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 0262042509, June.
  4. Sam Bucovetsky & Michael Smart, 2006. "The Efficiency Consequences of Local Revenue Equalization: Tax Competition and Tax Distortions," Journal of Public Economic Theory, Association for Public Economic Theory, vol. 8(1), pages 119-144, 01.
  5. Hoyt, William H., 1991. "Property taxation, Nash equilibrium, and market power," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 30(1), pages 123-131, July.
  6. Thiess Buettner & Robert Schwager & Sebastian Hauptmeier, 2011. "Efficient Revenue Sharing and Upper-Level Governments: Theory and Application to Germany," Journal of Institutional and Theoretical Economics (JITE), Mohr Siebeck, Tübingen, vol. 167(4), pages 647-667, December.
  7. 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.
  8. Boadway, R & Keen, M, 1996. "Efficiency and the optimal direction of federal-state transfers," IFS Working Papers W96/01, Institute for Fiscal Studies.
  9. Michael Smart, 2007. "Raising Taxes through Equalization," CESifo Working Paper Series 1926, CESifo Group Munich.
  10. Wilson, John D., 1986. "A theory of interregional tax competition," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 19(3), pages 296-315, May.
  11. Sotiris Karkalakos & Christos Kotsogiannis, 2007. "A spatial analysis of provincial corporate income tax responses: evidence from Canada," Canadian Journal of Economics, Canadian Economics Association, vol. 40(3), pages 782-811, August.
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