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Increasing Returns in a Standard Tax Competition Model



The standard tax competition literature predicts a race to the bottom in capital tax rates as capital mobility increases. Recently, the very different modeling framework of the new economic geography literature has produced the contrasting result that economic integration leads to agglomeration rents to capital which can be taxed away, in turn leading to higher corporate taxation. This paper incorporates increasing returns directly into the standard tax competition modeling framework to identify the origin of this disparity of results. The model illustrates that increasing returns reduce traditional tax competition pressures as capital mobility increases, and that changes in preferences for the public good, combined with increasing cross-border ownership of capital, and thus taxexporting incentives, are the main factors driving tax rates higher. Tax exporting has not previously been linked endogenously to capital mobility in standard tax competition models or new economic geography models.

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  • Signe Krogstrup, 2004. "Increasing Returns in a Standard Tax Competition Model," IHEID Working Papers 02-2004, Economics Section, The Graduate Institute of International Studies.
  • Handle: RePEc:gii:giihei:heiwp02-2004

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Fredrik Andersson & Rikard Forslid, 2003. "Tax Competition and Economic Geography," Journal of Public Economic Theory, Association for Public Economic Theory, vol. 5(2), pages 279-303, April.
    2. Huizinga, Harry & Nielsen, Soren Bo, 1997. "Capital income and profit taxation with foreign ownership of firms," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 42(1-2), pages 149-165, February.
    3. Ludema, Rodney D. & Wooton, Ian, 2000. "Economic geography and the fiscal effects of regional integration," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 52(2), pages 331-357, December.
    4. Kind, Hans Jarle & Knarvik, Karen Helene Midelfart & Schjelderup, Guttorm, 2000. "Competing for capital in a 'lumpy' world," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 78(3), pages 253-274, November.
    5. Wilson, John Douglas, 1999. "Theories of Tax Competition," National Tax Journal, National Tax Association, vol. 52(2), pages 269-304, June.
    6. Michael P. Devereux & Rachel Griffith & Alexander Klemm, 2002. "Corporate income tax reforms and international tax competition," Economic Policy, CEPR;CES;MSH, vol. 17(35), pages 449-495, October.
    7. Baldwin, Richard E. & Krugman, Paul, 2004. "Agglomeration, integration and tax harmonisation," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 48(1), pages 1-23, February.
    8. repec:cup:apsrev:v:91:y:1997:i:03:p:531-551_21 is not listed on IDEAS
    9. Ottaviano, Gianmarco & van Ypersele, Tanguy, 2002. "Market Access and Tax Competition," CEPR Discussion Papers 3638, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    10. Wilson, John Douglas, 1999. "Theories of Tax Competition," National Tax Journal, National Tax Association, vol. 52(n. 2), pages 269-304, June.
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    Tax competition; Capital mobility; Economic Geography; Increasing Returns; Tax Exporting.;

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