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Asymmetric Competition in the Setting of Diesel Excise Taxes in EU Countries


  • Laszlo Paizs

    () (Institute of Economics - Hungarian Academy of Sciences)


This paper tests new implications of the asymmetric tax competition model on diesel excise taxes in the European Union (EU). I extend the standard tax competition model by replacing the unit demand assumption with iso-elastic demand. As a result, not only the level of the equilibrium tax but also the slope of the tax reaction function depends positively on the size of the country. The new implication is testable on panel data in first differences, and it is tested on a panel of 16 European countries. The results provide strong evidence for strategic interaction in the setting of diesel excises and confirm the effect of country size on the response to tax changes in neighboring countries. Strategic interaction between EU countries intensified in the mid 1990s and drove small European countries to set lower diesel tax rates. These results explain why the EU's minimum tax policy has failed to harmonize diesel tax rates across member states.

Suggested Citation

  • Laszlo Paizs, 2010. "Asymmetric Competition in the Setting of Diesel Excise Taxes in EU Countries," IEHAS Discussion Papers 1012, Institute of Economics, Centre for Economic and Regional Studies, Hungarian Academy of Sciences.
  • Handle: RePEc:has:discpr:1012

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Wilson, John Douglas, 1991. "Tax competition with interregional differences in factor endowments," Regional Science and Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 21(3), pages 423-451, November.
    2. Jan Jacobs & Jenny Ligthart & Hendrik Vrijburg, 2010. "Consumption tax competition among governments: Evidence from the United States," International Tax and Public Finance, Springer;International Institute of Public Finance, vol. 17(3), pages 271-294, June.
    3. Kelejian, Harry H & Prucha, Ingmar R, 1998. "A Generalized Spatial Two-Stage Least Squares Procedure for Estimating a Spatial Autoregressive Model with Autoregressive Disturbances," The Journal of Real Estate Finance and Economics, Springer, vol. 17(1), pages 99-121, July.
    4. Nielsen, Soren Bo, 2001. " A Simple Model of Commodity Taxation and Cross-Border Shopping," Scandinavian Journal of Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 103(4), pages 599-623, December.
    5. Michiel Evers & Ruud A. de Mooij & Herman R.J. Vollebergh, 2004. "Tax Competition under Minimum Rates: The Case of European Diesel Excises," Tinbergen Institute Discussion Papers 04-062/3, Tinbergen Institute.
    6. Rosanne Altshuler & Timothy J. Goodspeed, 2015. "Follow the Leader? Evidence on European and US Tax Competition," Public Finance Review, , vol. 43(4), pages 485-504, July.
    7. Ben Lockwood & Giuseppe Migali, 2009. "Did The Single Market Cause Competition in Excise Taxes? Evidence From EU Countries," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 119(536), pages 406-429, March.
    8. 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 877-892, September.
    9. Egger, Peter & Pfaffermayr, Michael & Winner, Hannes, 2005. "Commodity taxation in a 'linear' world: a spatial panel data approach," Regional Science and Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 35(5), pages 527-541, September.
    10. repec:dgr:rugsom:07008 is not listed on IDEAS
    11. Ohsawa, Yoshiaki, 2003. "A spatial tax harmonization model," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 47(3), pages 443-459, June.
    12. Egger, Peter & Pfaffermayr, Michael & Winner, Hannes, 2005. "An unbalanced spatial panel data approach to US state tax competition," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 88(3), pages 329-335, September.
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    Cited by:

    1. Mandell, Svante & Proost, Stef, 2016. "Why truck distance taxes are contagious and drive fuel taxes to the bottom," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 93(C), pages 1-17.

    More about this item


    tax competition; minimum tax; asymmetric regions; diesel excise; European Union;

    JEL classification:

    • H70 - Public Economics - - State and Local Government; Intergovernmental Relations - - - General
    • H77 - Public Economics - - State and Local Government; Intergovernmental Relations - - - Intergovernmental Relations; Federalism
    • H87 - Public Economics - - Miscellaneous Issues - - - International Fiscal Issues; International Public Goods

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