Tax burden in the European Union: an analysis of beta, sigma and gamma convergence

This work investigates the convergence of the tax burden in the European
Union in the framework of increasing economic integration and policies of fiscal
harmonization. In the study we analyze global fiscal pressure as well as its
three principal components according to the subdivisions of the OECD: taxes
on income and profits, social security contributions, and taxes on goods and
services. From OECD data for the period 1965-2005 and taking EU-15 as
a reference, we analyze beta, sigma and gamma convergence, finding the
existence of convergence of fiscal pressure due primarily to the evolution of
taxation on goods and services, which have been subject to a greater degree of
harmonization. In addition a cluster analysis is carried out to determine similar
groups of fiscal characteristics from a set of tax indicators.
Francisco J. Delgado Rivero
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