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An Evaluation of the Risk-Sharing Function of Equalization in Canada

Author

Listed:
  • Robin Boadway

    () (Department of Economics, Queen's University)

  • Masayoshi Hayashi

    () (Department of Economics, Meiji Gakuin University)

Abstract

The Canadian system of equalization is designed to address differences in revenue-raising capacity across provinces, basing entitlements on actual provincial tax rates and bases. However, since it does so on a year-on-year basis, the standard against which a given province's equalization entitlements are calculated fluctuates from year to year as all provinces' tax bases and tax rates do. The consequence is that, while the redistribution function is fulfilled annually, the risk-sharing function suffers. The evidence we present indicates that at least for the business income tax, the equalization system can actually be destabilizing, thereby imposing on provinces variability in their potential revenue streams that exceeds what would exist in the absence of equalization.

Suggested Citation

  • Robin Boadway & Masayoshi Hayashi, 2002. "An Evaluation of the Risk-Sharing Function of Equalization in Canada," Working Papers 1006, Queen's University, Department of Economics.
  • Handle: RePEc:qed:wpaper:1006
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    File URL: http://qed.econ.queensu.ca/working_papers/papers/qed_wp_1006.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. 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.
    2. Decressin, Jorg, 2002. "Regional income redistribution and risk sharing: how does Italy compare in Europe?," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 86(2), pages 287-306, November.
    3. Bayoumi, Tamim & Masson, Paul R., 1995. "Fiscal flows in the United States and Canada: Lessons for monetary union in Europe," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 39(2), pages 253-274, February.
    4. A. D. Scott, 1952. "Federal Grants and Resource Allocation," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 60, pages 534-534.
    5. James M. Buchanan, 1952. "Federal Grants and Resource Allocation," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 60, pages 208-208.
    6. Melitz, Jacques & Zumer, Frederic, 2002. "Regional redistribution and stabilization by the center in Canada, France, the UK and the US:: A reassessment and new tests," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 86(2), pages 263-286, November.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Masayoshi Hayashi, 2012. "Channels of Stabilization in a System of Local Public Health Insurance: The Case of the National Health Insurance in Japan," CARF F-Series CARF-F-280, Center for Advanced Research in Finance, Faculty of Economics, The University of Tokyo.
    2. Nathaniel M. Lewis, 2010. "A Decade Later: Assessing Successes and Challenges in Manitoba's Provincial Immigrant Nominee Program," Canadian Public Policy, University of Toronto Press, vol. 36(2), pages 241-264, June.
    3. Dafflon, Bernard, 2010. "Local Fiscal Equalization: a New Proposal and an Experiment," FSES Working Papers 418, Faculty of Economics and Social Sciences, University of Freiburg/Fribourg Switzerland.
    4. Albouy, David, 2012. "Evaluating the efficiency and equity of federal fiscal equalization," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 96(9-10), pages 824-839.
    5. Masayoshi Hayashi, 2013. "On the Decomposition of Regional Stabilization and Redistribution," CIRJE F-Series CIRJE-F-910, CIRJE, Faculty of Economics, University of Tokyo.
    6. Hansjörg Blöchliger & Claire Charbit, 2008. "Fiscal equalisation," OECD Journal: Economic Studies, OECD Publishing, vol. 2008(1), pages 1-22.
    7. Buettner, Thiess, 2009. "The contribution of equalization transfers to fiscal adjustment: Empirical results for German municipalities and a US-German comparison," Journal of Comparative Economics, Elsevier, vol. 37(3), pages 417-431, September.
    8. Robin Boadway, 2004. "The Theory and Practice of Equalization," CESifo Economic Studies, CESifo, vol. 50(1), pages 211-254.
    9. Philippe Cyrenne & Manish Pandey, 2015. "Fiscal equalization, government expenditures and endogenous growth," International Tax and Public Finance, Springer;International Institute of Public Finance, vol. 22(2), pages 311-329, April.
    10. Andersson, Linda, 2004. "Output Smoothing between Regions in Sweden," Umeå Economic Studies 643, Umeå University, Department of Economics.
    11. Michael Smart, 2004. "Equalization and Stabilization," Canadian Public Policy, University of Toronto Press, vol. 30(2), pages 195-208, June.
    12. Hotz, Joffre & Unterschultz, James R., 2009. "Hedging Alberta Government's Oil and Gas Revenue: Is Acting Like a Farmer a Viable Strategy?," Staff Paper Series 91401, University of Alberta, Department of Resource Economics and Environmental Sociology.
    13. Linda Andersson, 2008. "Fiscal Flows and Financial Markets: To What Extent Do They Provide Risk Sharing within Sweden?," Regional Studies, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 42(7), pages 1003-1011.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Intergovernmental Transfers; Equalization; Risksharing; Interregional Redistribution;

    JEL classification:

    • H77 - Public Economics - - State and Local Government; Intergovernmental Relations - - - Intergovernmental Relations; Federalism

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