Is Partial Tax Harmonization Desirable?

26 Pages Posted: 18 Aug 2006

See all articles by Paola Conconi

Paola Conconi

Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR); Université Libre de Bruxelles (ULB) - European Center for Advanced Research in Economics and Statistics (ECARES)

Carlo Perroni

University of Warwick - Department of Economics; CESifo (Center for Economic Studies and Ifo Institute)

Raymond G. Riezman

University of Iowa - Henry B. Tippie College of Business - Department of Economics; Aarhus University - Department of Economics and Business; University of California, Santa Barbara (UCSB) - Department of Economics; GEP; CESifo (Center for Economic Studies and Ifo Institute)

Date Written: July 2006

Abstract

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. Our analysis provides a rationale for the proposed creation of an Enhanced Cooperation Agreement on capital taxes within the European Union.

Keywords: Tax competition, commitment, partial coordination

JEL Classification: C73, F21, H21

Suggested Citation

Conconi, Paola and Perroni, Carlo and Riezman, Raymond G., Is Partial Tax Harmonization Desirable? (July 2006). CEPR Discussion Paper No. 5761. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=925249

Paola Conconi (Contact Author)

Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR) ( email )

London
United Kingdom

Université Libre de Bruxelles (ULB) - European Center for Advanced Research in Economics and Statistics (ECARES) ( email )

Ave. Franklin D Roosevelt, 50 - C.P. 114
Brussels, B-1050
Belgium
32 2 650 2345 (Phone)
32 2 650 4475 (Fax)

Carlo Perroni

University of Warwick - Department of Economics ( email )

Coventry CV4 7AL
United Kingdom
44 24 7652 8416 (Phone)
44 24 7652 3032 (Fax)

CESifo (Center for Economic Studies and Ifo Institute)

Poschinger Str. 5
Munich, DE-81679
Germany

Raymond G. Riezman

University of Iowa - Henry B. Tippie College of Business - Department of Economics ( email )

316 PBB
Iowa City, IA 52242
United States

HOME PAGE: http://www.biz.uiowa.edu/faculty/rriezman/

Aarhus University - Department of Economics and Business ( email )

Fuglesangs Alle 4
Aarus, 8210
Denmark

HOME PAGE: http://www.biz.uiowa.edu/faculty/rriezman/

University of California, Santa Barbara (UCSB) - Department of Economics ( email )

2127 North Hall
Santa Barbara, CA 93106
United States

GEP ( email )

University Park
Nottingham, NG7 2RD
United Kingdom

CESifo (Center for Economic Studies and Ifo Institute)

Poschinger Str. 5
Munich, DE-81679
Germany

HOME PAGE: http://www.cesifo.de

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