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Fiscal Equalisation: Principles and an Application to the European Union

  • Bernd Hayo

    (University of Essen)

  • Matthias Wrede

    (Aachen University of Technology and University of Bamberg)

The paper derives a normative model for partial fiscal equalisation based on a number of axioms and makes special allowance for the existence of a specific fiscal need in the jurisdictions. A simple version of this idealised equalisation scheme relates net contri-butions to the equalisation funds to deviations of a jurisdiction's gross income from average gross income and a jurisdiction's specific needs from average specific needs. The theoretical model is then empirically tested for the case of the European Union using data from 1986-97. It is found that most restrictions of the model appear to hold, in particular, relatively richer countries contribute more and those with greater fiscal needs, approximated by the importance of the agricultural sector, pay less. However, in the EU, an adjustment of net payments to changes in the actual importance of the spe-cific fiscal need for a country is lacking.

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Paper provided by EconWPA in its series Public Economics with number 0201001.

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Date of creation: 10 Jan 2002
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Handle: RePEc:wpa:wuwppe:0201001
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  1. Hausman, Jerry, 2015. "Specification tests in econometrics," Applied Econometrics, Publishing House "SINERGIA PRESS", vol. 38(2), pages 112-134.
  2. White, Halbert, 1980. "A Heteroskedasticity-Consistent Covariance Matrix Estimator and a Direct Test for Heteroskedasticity," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 48(4), pages 817-38, May.
  3. Young, H. P., 1988. "Distributive justice in taxation," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 44(2), pages 321-335, April.
  4. Buhl, Hans Ulrich & Pfingsten, Andreas, 1990. "On the distribution of public funds," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 6(3), pages 363-376, December.
  5. Moulton, Brent R, 1990. "An Illustration of a Pitfall in Estimating the Effects of Aggregate Variables on Micro Unit," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 72(2), pages 334-38, May.
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