IDEAS home Printed from
   My bibliography  Save this paper

Did the Single Market Cause Competition in Excise Taxes? Evidence from EU Countries


  • Lockwood, Ben

    (University of Warwick)

  • Migali, Giuseppe

    (Lancaster University)


The introduction of the Single Market resulted in a switch from destination to origin-based taxation of cross-border transactions by individuals. The theory of commodity tax competition predicts that this change should give rise to excise tax competition and thus intensify strategic interaction in the setting of excise taxes. In this paper, we provide an empirical test of this prediction using a panel data set of 12 EU countries over the period 1987-2004. We find that for all excise duties that we consider (still and sparkling wine, beer, ethyl alcohol, and cigarettes), strategic interaction between countries significantly increased after 1993, consistently with the theoretical prediction. Indeed, for all these products except for cigarettes, there is no evidence of strategic interaction prior to 1993, so our findings are consistent with the hypothesis that the single market caused tax competition. For beer and ethyl alcohol, there is evidence that the minimum taxes, also introduced in 1993, have intensified strategic interaction.

Suggested Citation

  • Lockwood, Ben & Migali, Giuseppe, 2008. "Did the Single Market Cause Competition in Excise Taxes? Evidence from EU Countries," The Warwick Economics Research Paper Series (TWERPS) 847, University of Warwick, Department of Economics.
  • Handle: RePEc:wrk:warwec:847

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL:
    Download Restriction: no

    Other versions of this item:

    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Michael A. Nelson, 2002. "Using Excise Taxes to Finance State Government: Do Neighboring State Taxation Policy and Cross-Border Markets Matter?," Journal of Regional Science, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 42(4), pages 731-752.
    2. Kanbur, Ravi & Keen, Michael, 1991. "Tax competition and tax coordination : when countries differ in size," Policy Research Working Paper Series 738, The World Bank.
    3. Devereux, M.P. & Lockwood, B. & Redoano, M., 2007. "Horizontal and vertical indirect tax competition: Theory and some evidence from the USA," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 91(3-4), pages 451-479, April.
    4. Ohsawa, Yoshiaki, 1999. "Cross-border shopping and commodity tax competition among governments," Regional Science and Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 29(1), pages 33-51, January.
    5. Egger, Peter & Pfaffermayr, Michael & Winner, Hannes, 2005. "Commodity taxation in a 'linear' world: a spatial panel data approach," Regional Science and Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 35(5), pages 527-541, September.
    6. Rork, Jonathan C., 2003. "Coveting Thy Neighbors' Taxation," National Tax Journal, National Tax Association, vol. 56(4), pages 775-787, December.
    7. Case, Anne C. & Rosen, Harvey S. & Hines, James Jr., 1993. "Budget spillovers and fiscal policy interdependence : Evidence from the states," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 52(3), pages 285-307, October.
    8. Andreas Haufler, 1996. "Tax coordination with different preferences for public goods: Conflict or harmony of interest?," International Tax and Public Finance, Springer;International Institute of Public Finance, vol. 3(1), pages 5-28, January.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)


    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.

    Cited by:

    1. Sebastian Kessing & Bernhard Koldert, 2013. "Cross-border shopping and the Atkinson–Stiglitz theorem," International Tax and Public Finance, Springer;International Institute of Public Finance, vol. 20(4), pages 618-630, August.
    2. Emilie Caldeira & Martial Foucault & Gregoire Rota-Graziosi, 2015. "Decentralization in Africa and the nature of local governments’ competition: evidence from Benin," International Tax and Public Finance, Springer;International Institute of Public Finance, vol. 22(6), pages 1048-1076, December.
    3. Charles McLure, 2009. "Taxing commercial motor fuel in the European Union: the case for an apportionment-based, destination-principle system," International Tax and Public Finance, Springer;International Institute of Public Finance, vol. 16(3), pages 395-414, June.
    4. Alexandre Sauquet, 2014. "Exploring the nature of inter-country interactions in the process of ratifying international environmental agreements: the case of the Kyoto Protocol," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 159(1), pages 141-158, April.
    5. Keuschnigg, Christian & Loretz, Simon & Winner, Hannes, 2014. "Tax Competition and Tax Coordination in the European Union: A Survey," Economics Working Paper Series 1427, University of St. Gallen, School of Economics and Political Science.
    6. MORICONI, Simone & PICARD , Pierre M. & ZANAJ, Skerdilajda, 2012. "Commodity taxation and regulatory competition," CORE Discussion Papers 2012057, Université catholique de Louvain, Center for Operations Research and Econometrics (CORE).
    7. Esteller-Moré, Alejandro & Rizzo, Leonzio, 2011. "(Uncontrolled) Aggregate Shocks or Vertical Tax Interdependence? Evidence From Gasoline and Cigarettes," National Tax Journal, National Tax Association, vol. 64(2), pages 353-379, June.
    8. Christian Ben Lakhdar & Nicolas Gérard Vaillant & François-Charles Wolff, 2016. "Does smoke cross the border? Cigarette tax avoidance in France," The European Journal of Health Economics, Springer;Deutsche Gesellschaft für Gesundheitsökonomie (DGGÖ), vol. 17(9), pages 1073-1089, December.
    9. László Paizs, 2013. "Asymmetric competition in the setting of diesel excise taxes in EU countries," Acta Oeconomica, Akadémiai Kiadó, Hungary, vol. 63(4), pages 423-450, December.
    10. Leonzio Rizzo & Alejandro Esteller - Moré, 2011. "US Excise Tax Horizontal Interdependence: Yardstick vs. Tax Competition," Working Papers 201116, University of Ferrara, Department of Economics.
    11. Alejandro Esteller-Moré & Leonzio Rizzo, 2010. "Politics or mobility? Evidence from us excise taxation," Working Papers 2010/3, Institut d'Economia de Barcelona (IEB).
    12. Alexandre SAUQUET, 2011. "Exploring the Nature of Strategic Interactions in the Ratification Process of the Kyoto Protocol," Working Papers 201119, CERDI.
    13. Maier, Tomas, 2012. "Modelling Brewing Industry Pricing," AGRIS on-line Papers in Economics and Informatics, Czech University of Life Sciences Prague, Faculty of Economics and Management, vol. 4(4), December.
    14. Caldeira, Emilie, 2012. "Yardstick competition in a federation: Theory and evidence from China," China Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 23(4), pages 878-897.
    15. Dinka Antic, 2015. "Implications of the taxation of tobacco in the European Union in the period 2005-2014," Financial Theory and Practice, Institute of Public Finance, vol. 39(3), pages 279-304.
    16. repec:kap:jincot:v:17:y:2017:i:4:d:10.1007_s10842-017-0244-5 is not listed on IDEAS
    17. Paizs, László, 2009. "Gázolaj-jövedékiadó verseny az Európai Unióban
      [Fiscal competition on the market for diesel fuel in the European Union]
      ," Közgazdasági Szemle (Economic Review - monthly of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences), Közgazdasági Szemle Alapítvány (Economic Review Foundation), vol. 0(3), pages 216-238.
    18. Redoano, Michela, 2014. "Tax competition among European countries. Does the EU matter?," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 34(C), pages 353-371.

    More about this item


    tax competition ; excise taxes ; cross-border shopping;

    JEL classification:

    • H70 - Public Economics - - State and Local Government; Intergovernmental Relations - - - General
    • H71 - Public Economics - - State and Local Government; Intergovernmental Relations - - - State and Local Taxation, Subsidies, and Revenue
    • H77 - Public Economics - - State and Local Government; Intergovernmental Relations - - - Intergovernmental Relations; Federalism

    NEP fields

    This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:


    Access and download statistics


    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:wrk:warwec:847. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Margaret Nash). General contact details of provider: .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If CitEc recognized a reference but did not link an item in RePEc to it, you can help with this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.