Advanced Public Economics I: Public Policy in Open Economies

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1 Advanced Public Economics I: Public Policy in Open Economies Prof. Dr. Silke Übelmesser FSU Jena Winter 2015/16

2 Master Programme of this Chair Basic Modul: Adv. Public Finance (Every summer term) Specialization Area Public Economics Plus Adv. PE I: Public Policies in Open Economies Every winter term (compulsory) Adv. PE II: Education Economics Adv. PE III: Health Economics Adv. PE IV: Special Topics Next summer term: Education Economics (primary and secondary education) Seminar Public Finance / Public Economics (Every summer term) 2 / 26

3 Plan for this Chapter Outline 1.1 General Course Description 1.2 Introduction to the Topic and Overview 1.3 Some Illustrations 3 / 26

4 1.1 General Course Description Lecture Monday, , HS 7 (Carl-Zeiß-Str. 3) Thursday, , HS 8 (Carl-Zeiß-Str. 3) (Every second week) Contact Prof. Dr. Silke Übelmesser Chair for Economics / Public Finance (Carl-Zeiß-Str. 3 / 5.11) Office Hour: (by appointment) 4 / 26

5 Tutorial Thursday, , HS 8 (Carl-Zeiß-Str. 3) (Every second week) Add. Small Group Meeting (as announced) Contact Severin Weingarten Chair for Economics / Public Finance (Carl-Zeiß-Str. 3 / 5.13) Office Hour: (by appointment) 5 / 26

6 Schedule Date Type Date Type Mo 19 Oct 2015 Lecture 1 Mo 04 Jan 2016 Tutorial 6 Thu 22 Oct 2015 Lecture 3 Thu 07 Jan 2016 Lecture 7 Mo 26 Oct 2015 Lecture 3 Mo 11 Jan 2016 Lecture 7 Thu 29 Oct 2015 Lecture 3 Thu 14 Jan 2016 Lecture 7 Mo 2 Nov 2015 Tutorial 3 Mo 18 Jan 2016 Tutorial 7 Thu 5 Nov 2015 MATH Tutorial * Thu 21 Jan 2016 Lecture 8 Mo 9 Nov 2015 Tutorial 2 Mo 25 Jan 2016 Lecture 8 Thu 12 Nov 2015 Lecture 2 Thu 28 Jan 2016 Lecture 8 Mo 16 Nov 2015 Lecture 2 Mo 01 Feb 2016 Tutorial 8 Thu 19 Nov 2015 Tutorial 2 Thu 04 Feb 2016 Tutorial Mo 23 Nov 2015 Lecture 2+2 ** (if needed) Thu 26 Nov 2015 Lecture 2 Mo 08 Feb 2016 Mo 30 Nov 2015 Lecture 5 Thu 11 Feb 2016 Thu 03 Dec 2015 Lecture 5 Mo 07 Dec 2015 Lecture 5 * Conference "Migration Barriers" on Nov. 6/7 Thu 10 Dec 2015 Tutorial 5 Lecture "Borders and Policy Externalities: The Case of the EU Asylum Policy" Mo 14 Dec 2015 Lecture 6 (http://www.fiwi.uni jena.de/migration2015) Thu 17 Dec 2015 Christmas Break Lecture 6 ** Additional Lecture ( ) 6 / 26

7 Level Master: Compulsory within the study programmes of Economics (M.Sc., M.Ec.) in the subject majors Public Economics and World Economy ; Elective within the study programmes of Business Administration (M.Sc.), Business and Economic Education (M.Sc.). Language This course is held in English. 7 / 26

8 Credits Exam Four hours per week: three hours of lectures and a one-hour tutorial (6 ECTS) Date: 15 Feb 2016, , HS 2 Type: 60-minute written exam: 100% Exams of the previous terms can be found (here). The exam in this term will be structured similarly: 2/3 of the points: open questions requiring verbal, formal and/or graphical answers 1/3 of the points: Multiple Choice questions In the tutorial, you will learn more about it going through old exam questions. 8 / 26

9 Literature / Material Main reference: Sinn, Hans-Werner (2003): The New Systems Competition, Yrjö Jahnsson Lectures, Basil Blackwell, Oxford. Further references as announced in class. Slides available on the chair s homepage: password in class 9 / 26

10 1.2 Introduction to the Topic and Overview Globalization has brought about competition among states that is driven by factor mobility. The course examines this new type of competition which is understood here as competition of public policies in open economies. The questions addressed are among others: how can this lead to the erosion of the European welfare state, induce a race to the bottom in the sense that capital will not even pay for the infrastructure it uses and erode national regulatory systems, among other topics. In general, this policy competition will suffer from the same type of market failure which induced the respective government activity in the first place. 10 / 26

11 Policy Competition and the Selection Principle It is often argued: policy competition is comparable to competition in private markets. Following Tibout s (1961) Voting with feet : Governments are seen as firms which compete with one another by offering attractive packages of services and (tax) prices. Competition makes them behave in a way compatible with an international welfare optimum. No central government would then be needed and harmonization of fiscal and regulatory systems would neither be necessary nor desirable. The result would be a beneficial new order from the anarchy of uncoordinated national actions. Optimistic view! 11 / 26

12 The view taken here is different: Competition among governments, i.e. policy competition, does NOT resemble competition among private firms because governments undertake a variety of economic activities which cannot be handled satisfactorily by private markets. The so called selection principle states that governments should step in where markets fail. It then follows Reintroduction of the market through the back door of policy competition will not work. Market failures which induced government to step in in the first place are likely to appear again at the inter-state level. It is rather likely to bring about the same kind of market failure that justified government intervention in the first place. Pessimistic (realistic?) view! 12 / 26

13 It then follows: Harmonization or centralized actions on a supra-national level are often necessary when there is policy competition. International inefficiencies might, however, be reduced since mobile factors of production prefer the more efficient states. Only if no market failure prevails will decentralized actions lead to a Pareto-efficient outcome. Note that the normative argument is not based on the notion of distributional justice (depending on a specific welfare function), but on efficiency arguments! So, the New Systems Competition, i.e. the policy competition addressed here, refers to the competition between public policies for internationally mobile production factors. The Old Systems Competition was between communism and capitalism for economic, cultural and military dominance. 13 / 26

14 Outline Chap. 2: Tax and Infrastructure Competition Do countries compete in tax rates to attract mobile tax bases? Is the level of infrastructure efficient? Chap. 3: Welfare Competition Do countries offer low welfare benefits in order to distract potential welfare recipients from moving to the jurisdiction? Chap. 5-8: Regulatory Competition Do countries lower e.g. product, environmental, banking or competitive standards in order to attract firms? 14 / 26

15 Side-Remark Note that not every form of competition is related to the selection principle: Tax competition per se does not involve the selection principle working via the revenue side. Policy competition, which possibly leads to a violation of the selection principle, works via the expenditure side (see Chap. 2-3), regulations (see Chap. 5-8). Of course, both types of competition are often related. Think about public interventions due to market failures which involve expenditures and thus require revenues. Discuss! 15 / 26

16 List of Content 1. Introduction: Competition among States 2. Taxes and Public Infrastructure Goods 3. The Erosion of the Welfare State 5. Ecological Competition 6. The Competition of Product Standards 7. Limited Liability, Risk Taking and the Competition of Bank Regulators 8. The Competition of Competition Rules (Numbering of chapters according to book chapters) 16 / 26

17 1.3 Some Illustrations Has capital mobility increased? Exchange rate volatility of EMU members has been reduced to zero. What about interest convergence in EMU countries? What about convergence of corporate tax rates? 17 / 26

18 Is there convergence in interest rates? Source: Sinn, Hans Werner (2014): Responsibility of States and Central Banks in the Euro Crisis, CESifo Forum 15 (1), group.de/docdl/forum pdf Figure 1: Interest Rates for 10-Year Gov. Bonds Yes, convergence until the financial crisis in No, after the financial crisis in So, interest convergence seems to be repealed. 18 / 26

19 Is the increased capital mobility accompanied by a Race to the Bottom in corporate tax rates? Source: Bilicka, Katarzyna and Michael Devereux (2012): CBT Corporate tax ranking 2012, Oxford University Centre for Business Taxation. Note: The unbroken line is the mean tax rate over the 28 countries. Each dotted line represents one standard deviation away from the mean. Figure 2: Corporate Taxes in G20 and OECD Countries 1 1 Note: The solid line is the mean tax rate over the 28 countries. Each dotted line represents one standard deviation away from the mean. 19 / 26

20 So what has happened to statutory rates in the G20 and OECD? Rates (indicated by the solid line) have fallen substantially over this period. The average has declined from nearly 50% to below 30%. Moreover the decline in the average rate has been fairly continuous. The standard deviation (indicated by the dotted lines) has also been declining. Thus, rates have been converging as well as falling. Both aspects are consistent with a sustained process of tax competition over three decades. 20 / 26

21 Source: Bilicka, Katarzyna and Michael Devereux (2012): CBT Corporate tax ranking 2012, Oxford University Centre for Business Taxation. Figure 3: Number of Corporate Tax Rate Cuts Comment on the graph! 21 / 26

22 Race to the Bottom in Tax Rates? Incentives to shift profits are largely guided by statutory tax rate differentials. Profit shifting takes place via intra-company loans, royalty payments or transfer pricing. Devereux, Lockwood and Redoano (2008) 2 find that a 1%-point reduction in the average tax rate reduces the tax rate in a single country by 0.34 to 0.67%-points. Policy Responses: Tax rate harmonization, transfer pricing regulation, etc. 2 Devereux, Michael P., Ben Lockwood and Michela Redoano (2008): Do countries compete over corporate tax rates?, Journal of Public Economics 92(5-6), / 26

23 What has happened with tax revenue from corporate income as a proportion of GDP (since 1965)? 5,0 4,5 4,0 3,5 3,0 2,5 2,0 1,5 1,0 France Germany Ireland Italy Spain UK USA OECD Total 0,5 0, Source: OECD (2010), "Tax revenue trends, ", in OECD, Revenue Statistics 2010, OECD Publishing, p. 83. OECD (2012), "Tax revenue trends, ", in OECD, Revenue Statistics 2012, OECD Publishing, p Figure 4: Corporate Tax Revenue as % of GDP 23 / 26

24 And what has happened with tax revenue from corporate income as a proportion of total tax revenue (since 1965)? 18,0 16,0 14,0 12,0 10,0 8,0 6,0 4,0 France Germany Ireland Italy Spain UK USA OECD Total 2,0 0, Source: OECD (2010), "Tax revenue trends, ", in OECD, Revenue Statistics 2010, OECD Publishing, p. 83. OECD (2012), "Tax revenue trends, ", in OECD, Revenue Statistics 2012, OECD Publishing, p Figure 5: Corporate Tax Revenue as % of Total Tax Revenue 24 / 26

25 Race to the Bottom in Tax Rates? Tax bases broadened between the early 1980s and the end of the 1990s. Base broadening countervailed reduction in statutory tax rate. Even though corporate tax revenue as % of GDP and as % of total tax revenue has fluctuated quite a lot on the country level, the OECD average has not displayed so much variance, and it has not fallen on total over the period 1965 to / 26

26 In the next chapter, we will have a look at the revenue side of the public budget, i.e. at the evolution of tax rates in the presence of tax competition. In particular, we will see whether tax rates on capital are levied such that the revenue generated suffices for an efficient provision of infrastructure or whether policy competition leads to a violation of the selection principle. 26 / 26

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