Essays in fiscal policy and budgeting
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Tax competition literature predicts a world where countries will suppress taxes on mobile capital to attract it from elsewhere. Do the countries of South East Asia interact with each other strategically and compete when setting corporate taxes or do they compete for capital through other incentives? Data was collected from World Bank and American Enterprise Institute to model the tax interaction across these countries as a spatially dependent process. Findings indicate that these countries compete in terms of taxes amongst themselves only to a limited extent, but try to attract capital through non-tax incentives. Moreover, the spread of production processes by MNCs in these countries are such that they can act as a block to attract capital from the rest of the world, while not competing too much amongst them. Does Soft Budget Constraint exist in Indian State finances? If it does what is its extent and how does it manifest itself? Using data from Reserve Bank of India and Ministry of Finance sources our analysis indicate that states in India do indeed enjoy the benefits of soft budget constraint and expect the Central government to bail them out through regular resource transfers. Can the Theory of Punctuated Equilibrium of policy making explain the pattern of jumps and stasis in Indian state budgets? Or can explanations like political business cycle and forecast error correction be sufficient to explain such patterns? A detailed study of the annual budgetary changes indicate that although such competing explanations can partly explain the pattern, but still the Punctuated Equilibrium Theory is strongly applicable in explaining the leptokurtic pattern of annual budgetary changes in India.