# Cross-border shopping and the Atkinson–Stiglitz theorem

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## Abstract

We introduce cross-border shopping and indirect tax competition into a model of optimal taxation. The Atkinson–Stiglitz result that indirect taxation cannot improve the efficiency of information-constrained tax-transfer policies, and that indirect taxes should not be differentiated across goods, is shown to hold in this case even if countries are asymmetric. However, if the tax system must contain indirect taxation, differentiated indirect tax rates arise in the equilibrium and restricting differentiated indirect taxation can be welfare-increasing.

## Keywords

Cross-border shopping Atkinson–Stiglitz theorem Tax competition Direct and indirect taxes## JEL Classification

H21 F15## Notes

### Acknowledgements

We would like to thank the editor Jack Mintz and two anonymous referees for their comments. The usual caveat applies. Financial support from a generous donation from Mrs. Barbara Lambrecht-Schadeberg is gratefully acknowledged. We also gratefully acknowledge support from the Forschungskolleg Siegen (FoKoS).

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