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Redistribution and regional development under tax competition



This paper considers how capital tax competition affects transfer and development policies in the presence of regional income disparity. In each country, development policies determine the number of rich (poor) regions that (do not) engage in production activities, while transfer policies redistribute income between rich and poor regions. The mix of transfer and development policies is inefficient under tax competition: conditional on the equilibrium tax rate, too much revenue is spent on development policies and too little on transfer policies. This analysis of the expenditure mix implies that development policies are used as a means of regional redistribution even if transfer policies are efficient instruments for this purpose. Moreover, it is shown that the overall level of public expenditure may be too high because of the possibility of over-development.

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