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Fiscal competition and public debt

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  • Janeba, Eckhard
  • Todtenhaupt, Maximilian

Abstract

This paper explores the implications of high indebtedness for strategic tax setting when capital markets are integrated. When public borrowing is constrained due to sovereign default or by a binding fiscal rule, a rise in a country's initial debt level lowers investment in public infrastructure and makes tax setting more aggressive in that jurisdiction, while the opposite occurs elsewhere. On net a jurisdiction with higher initial debt becomes a less attractive location. Our analysis is inspired by fiscal responses in severely hit countries after the economic and financial crisis which are consistent with the theoretical predictions. We find a similar pattern on the sub-national level using administrative data from the universe of German municipalities.

Suggested Citation

  • Janeba, Eckhard & Todtenhaupt, Maximilian, 2018. "Fiscal competition and public debt," Munich Reprints in Economics 62861, University of Munich, Department of Economics.
  • Handle: RePEc:lmu:muenar:62861
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    Cited by:

    1. Séverine MENGUY, 2019. "Does public indebtedness constrain or can it favor economic growth? A simple analytical modeling," Bulletin of Applied Economics, Risk Market Journals, vol. 6(2), pages 1-29.
    2. Bellofatto, Antonio Andrés & Besfamille, Martín, 2021. "Tax decentralization notwithstanding regional disparities," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 123(C).
    3. Arcalean, Calin, 2018. "Dynamic fiscal competition: A political economy theory," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 164(C), pages 211-224.
    4. Zheng, Huanhuan, 2023. "Sovereign debt responses to the COVID-19 pandemic," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 143(C).
    5. Ryo Arawatari & Tetsuo Ono, 2023. "International coordination of debt rules with time‐inconsistent voters," Journal of Public Economic Theory, Association for Public Economic Theory, vol. 25(1), pages 29-60, February.

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    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • H25 - Public Economics - - Taxation, Subsidies, and Revenue - - - Business Taxes and Subsidies
    • H63 - Public Economics - - National Budget, Deficit, and Debt - - - Debt; Debt Management; Sovereign Debt
    • H73 - Public Economics - - State and Local Government; Intergovernmental Relations - - - Interjurisdictional Differentials and Their Effects
    • H87 - Public Economics - - Miscellaneous Issues - - - International Fiscal Issues; International Public Goods

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