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Strategic tax collection and fiscal decentralization: the case of Russia

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  • Alexander Libman

    () (University of Mannheim)

  • Lars P. Feld

    () (University of Heidelberg)

Abstract

In a centralized federation, where tax rates and taxation rules are set by the federal government, manipulating the thoroughness of tax auditing and the effectiveness of tax collection could be attractive for regional authorities because of a variety of reasons. These range from tax competition to principal-agent problems, state capture and benefits of fiscal equalization. In this paper we discuss strategic tax auditing and collection from the perspective of fiscal federalism and test for strategic tax collection empirically using data of the Russian Federation. Russia’s regional authorities in the 1990s have always been suspect of tax auditing manipulations in their favor. However, in the 2000s increasing bargaining po¬wer of the centre seems to induce tax collection bodies in the regions to manipulate tax auditing in favor of the federal centre. Our findings confirm the existence of strategic tax collection for the Yeltsin period after exclusion of outliers; the results for the Putin period are however rather ambiguous.

Suggested Citation

  • Alexander Libman & Lars P. Feld, 2009. "Strategic tax collection and fiscal decentralization: the case of Russia," Working Papers 2009/11, Institut d'Economia de Barcelona (IEB).
  • Handle: RePEc:ieb:wpaper:doc2009-11
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    Cited by:

    1. Bönke, Timm & Jochimsen, Beate & Schröder, Carsten, 2014. "Fiscal federalism and tax enforcement," VfS Annual Conference 2014 (Hamburg): Evidence-based Economic Policy 100394, Verein für Socialpolitik / German Economic Association.
    2. Alexeev, Michael & Chernyavskiy, Andrey, 2018. "A tale of two crises: Federal transfers and regional economies in Russia in 2009 and 2014–2015," Economic Systems, Elsevier, vol. 42(2), pages 175-185.
    3. Libman, Alexander, 2009. "Constitutions, Regulations, and Taxes: Contradictions of Different Aspects of Decentralization," MPRA Paper 15854, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    4. Bönke, Timm & Jochimsen, Beate & Schröder, Carsten, 2011. "Fiscal equalization and regions' (un)willingness-to-tax: Evidence from Germany," Economics Working Papers 2011-06, Christian-Albrechts-University of Kiel, Department of Economics.
    5. Timm Bönke & Beate Jochimsen & Carsten Schröder, 2017. "Fiscal Equalization and Tax Enforcement," German Economic Review, Verein für Socialpolitik, vol. 18(3), pages 377-409, August.
    6. Libman, A., 2010. "Empirical Research on Determinants of Decentralization: A Literature Survey," Journal of the New Economic Association, New Economic Association, issue 6, pages 10-29.
    7. Timm Bönke & Beate Jochimsen & Carsten Schröder, 2017. "Fiscal Equalization and Tax Enforcement," German Economic Review, Verein für Socialpolitik, vol. 18(3), pages 377-409, August.
    8. repec:dau:papers:123456789/6913 is not listed on IDEAS

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    fiscal federalism; tax arrears; transition economies;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • H26 - Public Economics - - Taxation, Subsidies, and Revenue - - - Tax Evasion and Avoidance
    • H77 - Public Economics - - State and Local Government; Intergovernmental Relations - - - Intergovernmental Relations; Federalism

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