Tax Competition Under Budget Rigidities and Fairness Norms
33 Pages Posted: 18 Aug 2004
Date Written: August 14, 2004
This paper analyzes fiscal competition under budget rigidities and tax equity (fairness norms). We outline a numerically solvable political economic model that treats the outcome of tax competition as one argument in the governments utility function, the others being public expenditure and tax equity. In accordance with theoretical research, we demonstrate that tax competition tends to reduce taxes on mobile capital while increasing the tax rates on relatively immobile labor. However, taxes on mobile capital do not vanish in equilibrium. Instead, the government being least restricted by budget constraints and equity norms reduces tax rates slightly below the lowest tax rates of those countries, in which governments are more constrained. Analyzing data from 21 OECD countries between 1965 and 2000 we find empirical support for the hypotheses derived from our theoretical model.
Keywords: Political economy, tax competition, tax equity, public expenditure, fiscal policy, spatial panel econometrics
JEL Classification: H41, H87, D71, D72
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