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A Model of Tradeable Capital Tax Permits

  • Timothy P. Hubbard

    ()

    (Department of Economics, Colby College)

  • Justin Svec

    ()

    (Department of Economics, College of the Holy Cross)

Standard models of horizontal strategic capital tax competition predict that, in a Nash equilibrium, tax rates are inefficiently low due to externalities - capital infl ow to one state corresponds to capital out ow for another state. Researchers often suggest that the federal government impose Pigouvian taxes to correct for these effects and achieve efficiency. We propose an alternative incentive-based regulation: tradeable capital tax permits. Under this system, the federal government would require a state to hold a permit if it wanted to reduce its capital income tax rate from some pre-determined benchmark. These permits would be tradeable across states. We show that, if the federal government sets the correct number of total permits, then social efficiency is achieved. We discuss the advantages of this system relative to the canonical suggestion of Pigouvian taxes.

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File URL: http://college.holycross.edu/RePEc/hcx/Svec-Hubbard_CapitalTaxPermits.pdf
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Paper provided by College of the Holy Cross, Department of Economics in its series Working Papers with number 1202.

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Length: 29 pages
Date of creation: Sep 2012
Date of revision:
Publication status: Published in Journal of Public Economic Theory, forthcoming.
Handle: RePEc:hcx:wpaper:1202
Contact details of provider: Phone: (508)793-3362
Fax: (508) 793-3708
Web page: http://www.holycross.edu/departments/economics/website/

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  1. Wildasin, D.E., 1987. "Nash equilibria in models of fiscal competition," CORE Discussion Papers 1987020, Université catholique de Louvain, Center for Operations Research and Econometrics (CORE).
  2. M. L. Weitzman, 1973. "Prices vs. Quantities," Working papers 106, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Department of Economics.
  3. Tom Tietenberg, 1995. "Tradeable permits for pollution control when emission location matters: What have we learned?," Environmental & Resource Economics, European Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, vol. 5(2), pages 95-113, March.
  4. Davies, Ronald B., 2005. "State tax competition for foreign direct investment: a winnable war?," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 67(2), pages 498-512, December.
  5. Joskow, Paul L & Schmalensee, Richard & Bailey, Elizabeth M, 1998. "The Market for Sulfur Dioxide Emissions," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 88(4), pages 669-85, September.
  6. Fredrik Carlsen & Bjørg Langset & Jørn Rattsø, 2005. "The relationship between firm mobility and tax level: Empirical evidence of fiscal competition between local governments," Discussion Papers 424, Research Department of Statistics Norway.
  7. de Crombrugghe, Alain & Tulkens, Henry, 1990. "On Pareto improving commodity tax changes under fiscal competition," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 41(3), pages 335-350, April.
  8. Robert N. Stavins, 1998. "What Can We Learn from the Grand Policy Experiment? Lessons from SO2 Allowance Trading," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 12(3), pages 69-88, Summer.
  9. Devereux, Michael P & Lockwood, Ben & Redoano, Michela, 2002. "Do Countries Compete Over Corporate Tax Rates?," The Warwick Economics Research Paper Series (TWERPS) 642, University of Warwick, Department of Economics.
  10. Batina, Raymond G., 2009. "Local capital tax competition and coordinated tax reform in an overlapping generations economy," Regional Science and Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 39(4), pages 472-478, July.
  11. Wildasin, D.E., 1989. "Some Rudimentary Duopolity Theorem," Working Papers 9, John Deutsch Institute for the Study of Economic Policy.
  12. Slemrod, Joel, 2004. "Are corporate tax rates, or countries, converging?," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 88(6), pages 1169-1186, June.
  13. Bucovetsky, S., 1991. "Asymmetric tax competition," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 30(2), pages 167-181, September.
  14. 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.
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