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Some International Issues in Commodity Taxation

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  • Michael Keen

Abstract

This paper reviews issues and evidence concerning tax-motivated, cross-border commodity transactions. A distinction is drawn between "arbitrage trades" (driven by cross-country differences in tax rates) and "tax not paid" transactions (motivated by the opportunity to pay no tax at all on transactions with international aspects). Assessment of the severity of the associated policy problems faces the difficulty that the observed extent of cross-border transactions conveys no information on the induced inefficiency that the possibility of such transactions may generate. Given the difficulty of securing coordination of national tax policies, much of the emphasis in dealing with these problems in the coming years is likely to be on administrative cooperation.

Suggested Citation

  • Michael Keen, 2002. "Some International Issues in Commodity Taxation," IMF Working Papers 02/124, International Monetary Fund.
  • Handle: RePEc:imf:imfwpa:02/124
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Lockwood, Ben, 1997. "Can international commodity tax harmonisation be Pareto-improving when governments supply public goods?," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 43(3-4), pages 387-408, November.
    2. Cremer, Helmuth & Gahvari, Firouz, 2000. "Tax evasion, fiscal competition and economic integration," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 44(9), pages 1633-1657, October.
    3. Thursby, Jerry G. & Thursby, Marie C., 2000. "Interstate Cigarette Bootlegging: Extent, Revenue Losses, and Effects of Federal Intervention," National Tax Journal, National Tax Association, vol. 53(1), pages 59-78, March.
    4. Austan Goolsbee, 2000. "In a World Without Borders: The Impact of Taxes on Internet Commerce," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 115(2), pages 561-576.
    5. Mintz, Jack & Tulkens, Henry, 1986. "Commodity tax competition between member states of a federation: equilibrium and efficiency," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 29(2), pages 133-172, March.
    6. FitzGerald, John & Quinn, T. P. & Whelan, Brendan J. & Williams, J. A., 1988. "An Analysis of Cross-Border Shopping," Research Series, Economic and Social Research Institute (ESRI), number GRS137.
    7. Lahiri, Sajal & Raimondos-Moller, Pascalis, 1998. "Public good provision and the welfare effects of indirect tax harmonisation," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 67(2), pages 253-267, February.
    8. Kolstad, Charles D & Wolak, Frank A, Jr, 1983. "Competition in Interregional Taxation: The Case of Western Coal," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 91(3), pages 443-460, June.
    9. Ohsawa, Yoshiaki, 1999. "Cross-border shopping and commodity tax competition among governments," Regional Science and Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 29(1), pages 33-51, January.
    10. Ian Crawford & Sarah Tanner, 1999. "Alcohol taxes, tax revenues and the Single European Market," Fiscal Studies, Institute for Fiscal Studies, vol. 20(3), pages 287-304, September.
    11. Trandel, Gregory A., 1992. "Evading the use tax on cross-border sales : Pricing and welfare effects," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 49(3), pages 313-331, December.
    12. Alesina, Alberto & Wacziarg, Romain, 1998. "Openness, country size and government," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 69(3), pages 305-321, September.
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    Cited by:

    1. Asplund, Marcus & Friberg, Richard & Wilander, Fredrik, 2007. "Demand and distance: Evidence on cross-border shopping," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 91(1-2), pages 141-157, February.
    2. Thomas Y. Mathä & Alessandro Porpiglia & Michael Ziegelmeyer, 2017. "Cross-border commuting and consuming: an empirical investigation," Applied Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 49(20), pages 2011-2026, April.
    3. repec:mea:meawpa:14284 is not listed on IDEAS
    4. repec:kap:iaecre:v:16:y:2010:i:2:p:135-148 is not listed on IDEAS
    5. Andrés Leal & Julio López-Laborda & Fernando Rodrigo, 2010. "Cross-Border Shopping: A Survey," International Advances in Economic Research, Springer;International Atlantic Economic Society, vol. 16(2), pages 135-148, May.

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