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Le fédéralisme financier en Allemagne: Coopération ou concurrence?


  • Lars P. Feld

    () (Faculty of Business Administration and Economics, Philipps Universitaet Marburg)


In this paper, German federalism is analysed with respect to its implications for public spending and revenue. Since the Second World War, taxing and spending competencies in Germany have become more and more centralised. This is demonstrated with respect to (1) changes of the power to tax, (2) the important territorial reforms, and (3) the increase of the federal influence on spending of sub-federal jurisdictions. In addition, the fiscal equalization system between jurisdictions is too egalitarian and the effects of German fiscal federalism on regional development are disastrous. Compared to unitary states with a powerful central government, this kind of cooperative federalism has the disadvantage of a federal state which cannot often decide anything without the consent of the states. Consequently, many reforms are blocked in the struggle between Bundestag and Bundesrat. It appears that only the introduction of fiscal competition between the states is able to improve economic policy in Germany.

Suggested Citation

  • Lars P. Feld, 2004. "Le fédéralisme financier en Allemagne: Coopération ou concurrence?," Marburg Working Papers on Economics 200416, Philipps-Universität Marburg, Faculty of Business Administration and Economics, Department of Economics (Volkswirtschaftliche Abteilung).
  • Handle: RePEc:mar:volksw:200416

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Buettner, Thiess, 2001. "Local business taxation and competition for capital: the choice of the tax rate," Regional Science and Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 31(2-3), pages 215-245, April.
    2. Feld, Lars P. & Kirchgassner, Gebhard, 2003. "The impact of corporate and personal income taxes on the location of firms and on employment: some panel evidence for the Swiss cantons," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 87(1), pages 129-155, January.
    3. Yvon Rocaboy, 1997. "Politiques de redistribution décentralisées et concurrence sociale," Économie et Prévision, Programme National Persée, vol. 128(2), pages 131-143.
    4. Charles Blankart, 2000. "The Process of Government Centralization: A Constitutional View," Constitutional Political Economy, Springer, vol. 11(1), pages 27-39, March.
    5. Feld, Lars P. & Kirchgassner, Gebhard, 2001. "Income tax competition at the State and Local Level in Switzerland," Regional Science and Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 31(2-3), pages 181-213, April.
    6. Sinn, Hans-Werner, 1997. "The selection principle and market failure in systems competition," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 66(2), pages 247-274, November.
    7. Lars P. Feld & Gebhard Kirchgaessner & Christoph A. Schaltegger, 2010. "Decentralized Taxation and the Size of Government: Evidence from Swiss State and Local Governments," Southern Economic Journal, Southern Economic Association, vol. 77(1), pages 27-48, July.
    8. Lars Feld & Jean-Michel Josselin & Yvon Rocaboy, 2002. "Le mimétisme fiscal : une application aux Régions françaises," Economie & Prévision, La Documentation Française, vol. 156(5), pages 43-49.
    9. Wilson, John Douglas, 1999. "Theories of Tax Competition," National Tax Journal, National Tax Association, vol. 52(2), pages 269-304, June.
    10. Salmon, Pierre, 1987. "Decentralisation as an Incentive Scheme," Oxford Review of Economic Policy, Oxford University Press, vol. 3(2), pages 24-43, Summer.
    11. Baldwin, Richard E. & Krugman, Paul, 2004. "Agglomeration, integration and tax harmonisation," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 48(1), pages 1-23, February.
    12. Seitz, Helmut, 1999. "Subnational government bailouts in Germany," ZEI Working Papers B 20-1999, University of Bonn, ZEI - Center for European Integration Studies.
    13. Feld, Lars P, 2000. "Tax Competition and Income Redistribution: An Empirical Analysis for Switzerland," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 105(1-2), pages 125-164, October.
    14. Wallace E. Oates, 1999. "An Essay on Fiscal Federalism," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 37(3), pages 1120-1149, September.
    15. Lars P. Feld, 2000. "Fiskalischer Wettbewerb und Einkommensumverteilung," Perspektiven der Wirtschaftspolitik, Verein für Socialpolitik, vol. 1(2), pages 181-198, May.
    16. Lars P. Feld & Horst Zimmermann & Thomas Döring, 2003. "Föderalismus, Dezentralität und Wirtschaftswachstum," Vierteljahrshefte zur Wirtschaftsforschung / Quarterly Journal of Economic Research, DIW Berlin, German Institute for Economic Research, vol. 72(3), pages 361-377.
    17. Christian Baretti & Robert Fenge & Bernd Huber & Willi Leibfritz & Matthias Steinherr, 2000. "Chancen und Grenzen föderalen Wettbewerbs," ifo Beiträge zur Wirtschaftsforschung, ifo Institute - Leibniz Institute for Economic Research at the University of Munich, number 1, November.
    18. Kirchgassner, Gebhard & Pommerehne, Werner W., 1996. "Tax harmonization and tax competition in the European Union: Lessons from Switzerland," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 60(3), pages 351-371, June.
    19. Wilson, John Douglas, 1999. "Theories of Tax Competition," National Tax Journal, National Tax Association, vol. 52(n. 2), pages 269-304, June.
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