IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/p/ifs/ifsewp/96-01.html
   My bibliography  Save this paper

Efficiency and the optimal direction of federal-state transfers

Author

Listed:
  • Robin Boadway

    () (Institute for Fiscal Studies and Queen's University, Ontario)

  • Michael Keen

    () (Institute for Fiscal Studies and International Monetary Fund)

Abstract

It seems to be widely believed that the case for centralising revenue-raising is stronger than that for centralising expenditure decisions, so that federal governments should typically make transfers to lower level "state" governments. This paper argues, however, that pure efficiency considerations may plausibly point in exactly the opposite direction. This arises becauses of a "vertical" fiscal externality: the typical state may neglect the impact that its tax decisions have on the federal tax base. The optimal federal response is to internalise this distortion of state decisions by means of offsetting subsidy on the common tax base, the financing of which may plausibly require transfers from the states.

Suggested Citation

  • Robin Boadway & Michael Keen, 1996. "Efficiency and the optimal direction of federal-state transfers," IFS Working Papers W96/01, Institute for Fiscal Studies.
  • Handle: RePEc:ifs:ifsewp:96/01
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: http://www.ifs.org.uk
    Download Restriction: no

    Other versions of this item:

    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Wellisch, Dietmar, 1994. "Interregional spillovers in the presence of perfect and imperfect household mobility," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 55(2), pages 167-184, October.
    2. Brennan, G. & Pincus, J. J., 1996. "A minimalist model of federal grants and flypaper effects," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 61(2), pages 229-246, August.
    3. Roger H. Gordon, 1983. "An Optimal Taxation Approach to Fiscal Federalism," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 98(4), pages 567-586.
    4. Robin W. Boadway & Michael Keen, 1994. "Efficiency and the Fiscal Gap in Federal Systems," Working Papers 915, Queen's University, Department of Economics.
    5. Myers Gordon M. & Papageorgiou Yorgos Y., 1993. "Fiscal Inequivalence, Incentive Equivalence and Pareto Efficiency in a Decentralized Urban Context," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 33(1), pages 29-47, January.
    6. Boadway, Robin, 1982. "On the Method of Taxation and the Provision of Local Public Goods: Comment," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 72(4), pages 846-851, September.
    7. Robin W. Boadway & Frank R. Flatters, 1982. "Efficiency and Equalization Payments in a Federal System of Government: A Synthesis and Extension of Recent Results," Canadian Journal of Economics, Canadian Economics Association, vol. 15(4), pages 613-633, November.
    8. A. B. Atkinson & N. H. Stern, 1974. "Pigou, Taxation and Public Goods," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 41(1), pages 119-128.
    9. Russell Krelove, 1992. "Efficient Tax Exporting," Canadian Journal of Economics, Canadian Economics Association, vol. 25(1), pages 145-155, February.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    More about this item

    Statistics

    Access and download statistics

    Corrections

    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:ifs:ifsewp:96/01. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Emma Hyman). General contact details of provider: http://edirc.repec.org/data/ifsssuk.html .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If CitEc recognized a reference but did not link an item in RePEc to it, you can help with this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.