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Is Partial Tax Harmonization Desirable?

  • Conconi, Paola

    (Université Libre de Bruxelles (ECARES), University of Warwick (CSGR) and CEPR)

  • Perroni, Carlo

    (University of Warwick and CESifo)

  • Riezman, Raymond

    (University of Iowa and CESifo)

We consider a setting in which capital taxation is characterized by two distortions working in opposite directions. On one hand, governments engage in tax competition and are tempted to lower capital tax rates. On the other hand, they are unable to commit to future policies and, once capital has been installed, have incentives to increase taxes. In this setting, there exists a tax that optimally trades off the two distortions. We compare three possible tax harmonization scenarios: no tax harmonization (all countries set taxes unilaterally), global tax harmonization (all countries coordinate their capital taxes), and partial tax harmonization (only a subset of all countries coordinate capital taxes). We show that, if capital is sufficiently mobile, partial tax harmonization benefits all countries compared to both global and no harmonization.

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File URL: http://www2.warwick.ac.uk/fac/soc/economics/research/workingpapers/2008/twerp_795.pdf
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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 795.

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Length: 18 pages
Date of creation: 2007
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Handle: RePEc:wrk:warwec:795
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  1. Benhabib, Jess & Rustichini, Aldo, 1997. "Optimal Taxes without Commitment," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 77(2), pages 231-259, December.
  2. Slemrod, Joel & Hansen, Carl & Procter, Roger, 1997. "The seesaw principle in international tax policy," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 65(2), pages 163-176, August.
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  6. Conconi, Paola & Perroni, Carlo, 2006. "Do Credible Domestic Institutions Promote Credible International Agreements?," CEPR Discussion Papers 5762, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
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  13. Devereux, Michael P & Lockwood, Ben & Redoano, Michela, 2002. "Do Countries Compete Over Corporate Tax Rates?," The Warwick Economics Research Paper Series (TWERPS) 642, University of Warwick, Department of Economics.
  14. Lucas, Robert E, Jr, 1990. "Supply-Side Economics: An Analytical Review," Oxford Economic Papers, Oxford University Press, vol. 42(2), pages 293-316, April.
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  16. Kanbur, Ravi & Keen, Michael, 1993. "Jeux Sans Frontieres: Tax Competition and Tax Coordination When Countries Differ in Size," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 83(4), pages 877-92, September.
  17. Patrick J. Kehoe, 1989. "Policy Cooperation Among Benevolent Governments May Be Undesirable," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 56(2), pages 289-296.
  18. V. V. Chari & Patrick J. Kehoe & Edward C. Prescott, 1988. "Time consistency and policy," Staff Report 115, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis.
  19. Rogers, Carol Ann, 1987. "Expenditure taxes, income taxes, and time-inconsistency," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 32(2), pages 215-230, March.
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