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Haufler, Andreas (1996): Optimal Factor and Commodity Taxation in a Small Open Economy. In: International Tax and Public Finance, Vol. 3, No. 3: pp. 425-442

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A two-sector trade model with specific factors and perfect international capital mobility is used to analyze the optimal mix of factor and commodity taxation in a small open economy that faces domestic or international constraints on its tax instruments. In the unconstrained benchmark case, the small country will tax specific factors and domestic consumption but chooses zero tax rates for a selective production tax (i.e., an origin-based commodity tax) and a source-based tax on capital income. When commodity taxation must follow a combination of origin and destination principles, then this mixed commodity tax rate will be positive and its production effects are partly compensated in the optimum by a capital subsidy. These international restrictions interact with domestic constraints when rents accruing to fixed factors cannot be taxed by a separate instrument, and a positive tax rate on capital serves as an indirect way of rent taxation.

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