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Tax competition, unemployment, and intergovernmental transfers

Yuya Kikuchi and Toshiki Tamai
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Yuya Kikuchi: Nagoya University

International Tax and Public Finance, 2019, vol. 26, issue 4, 899-918

Abstract: Abstract This paper investigates the relationship among tax competition, the equilibrium efficiency of providing public goods, and intergovernmental transfers, under labor market imperfections. Labor market imperfections cause unemployment-exporting externalities, in addition to fiscal externalities. One of the key points is the unemployment-exporting externality can be either a positive or negative externality. A transfer must internalize these two different externalities to provide public goods efficiently. We consider three specific transfers: tax base equalization, tax revenue equalization, and GDP-based equalization. This paper shows that tax base equalization is more effective than revenue equalization in improving the efficiency of public goods supply if two positive externalities are present. In contrast, tax revenue equalization may be better than tax base equalization if both positive and negative externalities are present. This implies that these two options fail to eliminate the overall external effect in some cases. We demonstrate that in a realistic situation, GDP-based equalization can internalize two different externalities perfectly.

Keywords: Tax competition; Interregional transfers; Unemployment; Fixed wage; H21; H71; J64 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2019
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Handle: RePEc:kap:itaxpf:v:26:y:2019:i:4:d:10.1007_s10797-019-09533-0