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Apportionment, Fiscal Equalization and Decentralized Tax Enforcement

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  • Christian Traxler

    () (Max Planck Institute for Research on Collective Goods, Bonn)

  • Andreas Reutter

    (University of Konstanz)

Abstract

We study tax evasion and decentralized tax enforcement in a federal economy with mobile capital and the endogenous formation of multiregional companies. Regions use their enforcement policy as a strategic instrument to engage in fiscal competition. Within this framework, we analyze the uncoordinated policy choice under formula apportionment (FA) and compare it to the incentives which derive from fiscal equalization (FE). As both systems redistribute collected revenues but not enforcement costs, they distort the regions' incentives to enforce taxes. At the same time, jurisdictions partially internalize the fiscal externalities caused by their enforcement policy. We show that the tradeoff between these two opposing effects differs between FA and FE, and crucially depends on the degree of interregional firm integration under FA. We discuss conditions under which FA, FE or a joint system of FA cum FE provides the ‘best’ incentives for decentralized tax enforcement.

Suggested Citation

  • Christian Traxler & Andreas Reutter, 2008. "Apportionment, Fiscal Equalization and Decentralized Tax Enforcement," Discussion Paper Series of the Max Planck Institute for Research on Collective Goods 2008_21, Max Planck Institute for Research on Collective Goods.
  • Handle: RePEc:mpg:wpaper:2008_21
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    7. Wolfgang Eggert & Guttorm Schjelderup, 2003. "Symmetric Tax Competition under Formula Apportionment," Journal of Public Economic Theory, Association for Public Economic Theory, vol. 5(2), pages 439-446, April.
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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Caterina Liesegang & Marco Runkel, 2009. "Corporate Income Taxation of Multinationals and Fiscal Equalization," CESifo Working Paper Series 2747, CESifo Group Munich.
    2. Alexander Libman & Lars P. Feld, 2013. "Strategic Tax Collection and Fiscal Decentralization: The Case of Russia," German Economic Review, Verein für Socialpolitik, vol. 14(4), pages 449-482, November.
    3. repec:bla:germec:v:18:y:2017:i:3:p:377-409 is not listed on IDEAS

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Tax Enforcement; Tax Evasion; Formula Apportionment; Fiscal Equalization; Tax Revenue Sharing;

    JEL classification:

    • H77 - Public Economics - - State and Local Government; Intergovernmental Relations - - - Intergovernmental Relations; Federalism
    • H71 - Public Economics - - State and Local Government; Intergovernmental Relations - - - State and Local Taxation, Subsidies, and Revenue
    • H26 - Public Economics - - Taxation, Subsidies, and Revenue - - - Tax Evasion and Avoidance

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