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Tax Competition and the Nature of Capital

The standard race-to-the-bottom result is curious in one respect. If a nation wants to attract foreign capital, providing the optimal level of public amenities (and thus charging the optimal tax rate) would seem optimal. This conjecture fails in the standard tax competition model since foreign capital ignores host nation amenities. While this assumption is reasonable for physical capital, other forms of capital (human capital) tends to move with its owner, so amenities matter. We show that when factors move with their owners, symmetric international tax competition may leads to the socially optimal rate. This result can be thought of as a corollary of the Tiebout efficiency hypothesis.

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Paper provided by Stockholm University, Department of Economics in its series Research Papers in Economics with number 2002:18.

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Length: 9 pages
Date of creation: Jul 2002
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:hhs:sunrpe:2002_0018
Contact details of provider: Postal: Department of Economics, Stockholm, S-106 91 Stockholm, Sweden
Phone: +46 8 16 20 00
Fax: +46 8 16 14 25
Web page: http://www.ne.su.se/Email:


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  1. Jeremy Edwards & Michael Keen, 1994. "Tax competition and Leviathon," IFS Working Papers W94/07, Institute for Fiscal Studies.
  2. Gordon, Roger H, 1983. "An Optimal Taxation Approach to Fiscal Federalism," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 98(4), pages 567-86, November.
  3. WILDASIN, David E., . "Interjurisdictional capital mobility: Fiscal externality and a corrective subsidy," CORE Discussion Papers RP -831, Université catholique de Louvain, Center for Operations Research and Econometrics (CORE).
  4. Wilson, J.D., 1990. "Tax Competition With Interregional Differences In Factor Endowments," Working Papers 4, John Deutsch Institute for the Study of Economic Policy.
  5. Zodrow, George R. & Mieszkowski, Peter, 1986. "Pigou, Tiebout, property taxation, and the underprovision of local public goods," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 19(3), pages 356-370, May.
  6. Wildasin, David E., 1991. "Some rudimetary 'duopolity' theory," Regional Science and Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 21(3), pages 393-421, November.
  7. Wilson, John Douglas, 1999. "Theories of Tax Competition," National Tax Journal, National Tax Association, vol. 52(n. 2), pages 269-304, June.
  8. WILDASIN, David, . "Nash equilibria in models of fiscal competition," CORE Discussion Papers RP -804, Université catholique de Louvain, Center for Operations Research and Econometrics (CORE).
  9. Eckard Janeba, . "Tax Competition in Imperfectly Competitive Markets," Discussion Paper Serie A 513, University of Bonn, Germany.
  10. Signe Krogstrup, 2002. "What do Theories of Tax Competition Predict for Capital Taxes in EU Countries? A Review of the Tax Competition Literature," IHEID Working Papers 05-2002, Economics Section, The Graduate Institute of International Studies.
  11. Bucovetsky, S., 1991. "Asymmetric tax competition," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 30(2), pages 167-181, September.
  12. Wilson, John D., 1986. "A theory of interregional tax competition," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 19(3), pages 296-315, May.
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