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Hotelling Tax Competition

  • Wooders, Myrna

    (Department of Economics, University of Warwick)

  • Zissimos, Ben

    (University of Birmingham)

This paper shows how competition among governments for mobile firms can bring about excessive differentiation in levels of taxation and public good provision. Hotelling’s Principle of Minimum Differentiation is applied in the context of tax competition and shown to be invalid. Instead, when an equilibrium exists, differentiation of public good provision is maximized. Non-existence of equilibrium, which can occur, is a metaphor for intense tax competition. The paper also shows that, to some extent, perfect tax discrimination presents a solution to the existence problem created by Hotelling tax competition, but that the efficiency problem of Hotelling tax competition is exacerbated.

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Paper provided by University of Warwick, Department of Economics in its series The Warwick Economics Research Paper Series (TWERPS) with number 668.

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Length: 56 pages
Date of creation: 2003
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:wrk:warwec:668
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  1. Besley, Timothy J. & Smart, Michael, 2002. "Does Tax Competition Raise Voter Welfare?," CEPR Discussion Papers 3131, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  2. Bond, Eric W & Samuelson, Larry, 1986. "Tax Holidays as Signals," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 76(4), pages 820-26, September.
  3. Devereux, Michael P. & Lockwood, Ben & Redoano, Michela, 2008. "Do countries compete over corporate tax rates?," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 92(5-6), pages 1210-1235, June.
  4. Milgrom, Paul & Roberts, John, 1982. "Limit Pricing and Entry under Incomplete Information: An Equilibrium Analysis," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 50(2), pages 443-59, March.
  5. Wooders, Myrna Holtz, 1989. "A Tiebout theorem," Mathematical Social Sciences, Elsevier, vol. 18(1), pages 33-55, August.
  6. Baldwin, Richard & Krugman, Paul, 2000. "Agglomeration, Integration and Tax Harmonization," CEPR Discussion Papers 2630, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  7. d'Aspremont, C & Gabszewicz, Jean Jaskold & Thisse, J-F, 1979. "On Hotelling's "Stability in Competition"," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 47(5), pages 1145-50, September.
  8. V. Bhaskar & Ted To, 2002. "Is Perfect Price Discrimination Really Efficient? An Analysis of Free Entry," Economics Discussion Papers 537, University of Essex, Department of Economics.
  9. Black, Dan A & Hoyt, William H, 1989. "Bidding for Firms," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 79(5), pages 1249-56, December.
  10. Gordon, Roger H & Wilson, John Douglas, 1986. "An Examination of Multijurisdictional Corporate Income Taxation under Formula Apportionment," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 54(6), pages 1357-73, November.
  11. Robin Boadway & Katherine Cuff & Nicolas Marceau, 2002. "Inter-Jurisdictional Competition for Firms," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 43(3), pages 761-782, August.
  12. Zodrow, George R. & Mieszkowski, Peter, 1986. "Pigou, Tiebout, property taxation, and the underprovision of local public goods," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 19(3), pages 356-370, May.
  13. Justman, Moshe & Thisse, Jacques-Francois & van Ypersele, Tanguy, 2005. "Fiscal competition and regional differentiation," Regional Science and Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 35(6), pages 848-861, November.
  14. Hohaus, Bolko & Konrad, Kai A. & Thum, Marcel, 1994. "Too much conformity? : A hotelling model of local public goods supply," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 44(3), pages 295-299.
  15. John Douglas Wilson & Roger H. Gordon, 2003. "Expenditure Competition," Journal of Public Economic Theory, Association for Public Economic Theory, vol. 5(2), pages 399-417, 04.
  16. Spence, Michael, 1976. "Product Selection, Fixed Costs, and Monopolistic Competition," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 43(2), pages 217-35, June.
  17. Edwards, Jeremy & Keen, Michael, 1996. "Tax competition and Leviathan," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 40(1), pages 113-134, January.
  18. A. Michael Spence, 1977. "Entry, Capacity, Investment and Oligopolistic Pricing," Bell Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 8(2), pages 534-544, Autumn.
  19. Amrita Dhillon & Myrna H. Wooders & Ben Zissimos, 2006. "Tax Competition Reconsidered," Vanderbilt University Department of Economics Working Papers 0602, Vanderbilt University Department of Economics.
  20. Wilson, John Douglas, 1999. "Theories of Tax Competition," National Tax Journal, National Tax Association, vol. 52(n. 2), pages 269-304, June.
  21. David M. Kreps & Jose A. Scheinkman, 1983. "Quantity Precommitment and Bertrand Competition Yield Cournot Outcomes," Bell Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 14(2), pages 326-337, Autumn.
  22. Wilson, John D., 1986. "A theory of interregional tax competition," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 19(3), pages 296-315, May.
  23. Wildasin, David E., 1989. "Interjurisdictional capital mobility: Fiscal externality and a corrective subsidy," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 25(2), pages 193-212, March.
  24. Roger H. Gordon & John D. Wilson, 1999. "Tax Structure and Government Behavior: Implications for Tax Policy," NBER Working Papers 7244, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  25. Oates, Wallace E. & Schwab, Robert M., 1988. "Economic competition among jurisdictions: efficiency enhancing or distortion inducing?," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 35(3), pages 333-354, April.
  26. Oates, Wallace E, 1985. "Searching for Leviathan: An Empirical Study," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 75(4), pages 748-57, September.
  27. Steven C. Salop, 1979. "Monopolistic Competition with Outside Goods," Bell Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 10(1), pages 141-156, Spring.
  28. Boadway, Robin & Pestieau, Pierre & Wildasin, David E, 1989. "Non-cooperative Behavior and Efficient Provision of Public Goods," Public Finance = Finances publiques, , vol. 44(1), pages 1-7.
  29. Wildasin, David E., 1988. "Nash equilibria in models of fiscal competition," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 35(2), pages 229-240, March.
  30. Ian King & R. Preston McAfee & Linda Welling, 1993. "Industrial Blackmail: Dynamic Tax Competition and Public Investment," Canadian Journal of Economics, Canadian Economics Association, vol. 26(3), pages 590-608, August.
  31. Jack High (ed.), 2001. "Competition," Books, Edward Elgar, number 1751, March.
  32. Haaparanta, Pertti, 1996. "Competition for foreign direct investments," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 63(1), pages 141-153, December.
  33. Dasgupta, Partha & Maskin, Eric, 1986. "The Existence of Equilibrium in Discontinuous Economic Games, I: Theory," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 53(1), pages 1-26, January.
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