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Property taxation as incentive for cost control: Empirical evidence for utility services in Norway

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  • Borge, Lars-Erik
  • Rattsø, Jørn

Abstract

Recent theoretical research suggests that property taxation has incentive effects that can help control cost problems in the public sector. The institutional setting in Norway allows this first empirical investigation of the incentive effect of property taxation, since we can separate between local governments with and without property tax. The raw data of the variation in the unit cost level for utilities show that local governments with property tax have 20% lower unit cost. Using both linear regression and propensity score matching, we are not able to wash out the difference in unit costs. Our interpretation is that having a visible and controversial local tax related to property stimulates voter interest in local government activities and thereby may help cost control.

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by Elsevier in its journal European Economic Review.

Volume (Year): 52 (2008)
Issue (Month): 6 (August)
Pages: 1035-1054

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Handle: RePEc:eee:eecrev:v:52:y:2008:i:6:p:1035-1054

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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. Sergio Beraldo & Massimiliano Piacenza & Gilberto Turati, 2012. "Fiscal Decentralization In Weak Institutional Environments," Post-Print halshs-00706970, HAL.
  2. Paolo Liberati & Agnese Sacchi, 2010. "Tax Decentralisation and local Government size," Departmental Working Papers of Economics - University 'Roma Tre' 0123, Department of Economics - University Roma Tre.
  3. Jon H. Fiva & Marte Rønning, 2006. "The Incentive Effects of Property Taxation: Evidence from Norwegian School Districts," Discussion Papers 484, Research Department of Statistics Norway.
  4. Lars-Erik Borge & Jørn Rattsø, 2001. "Income Distribution and Tax Structure: Microeconomic Test of the Meltzer-Richard Hypothesis," CESifo Working Paper Series 543, CESifo Group Munich.
  5. Andrea Filippo Presbitero & Agnese Sacchi & Alberto Zazzaro, 2014. "Property Tax and Fiscal Discipline in OECD Countries," Mo.Fi.R. Working Papers 95, Money and Finance Research group (Mo.Fi.R.) - Univ. Politecnica Marche - Dept. Economic and Social Sciences.
  6. Jørn Rattsø & Jon Hernes Fiva, 2005. "Decentralization with Property Taxation to Improve Incentives: Evidence from Local Governments’ Discrete Choice," Working Paper Series 5305, Department of Economics, Norwegian University of Science and Technology, revised 02 Sep 2005.
  7. Lars-Erik Borge & Jørn Rattsø, 2003. "The Relationships Between Costs and User Charges: The Case of a Norwegian Utility Service," CESifo Working Paper Series 1033, CESifo Group Munich.
  8. Sánchez-Braza, Antonio & Pablo-Romero, María del P., 2014. "Evaluation of property tax bonus to promote solar thermal systems in Andalusia (Spain)," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 67(C), pages 832-843.
  9. Maura Francese & Massimiliano Piacenza & Marzia Romanelli & Gilberto Turati, 2012. "Understanding Inappropriateness in Health Care. The Role of Supply Structure, Pricing Policies and Political Institutions in Caesarean Deliveries," Working papers 001, Department of Economics and Statistics (Dipartimento di Scienze Economico-Sociali e Matematico-Statistiche), University of Torino.
  10. Agnese Sacchi & Simone Salotti, 2014. "The influence of decentralized taxes and intergovernmental grants on local spending volatility," Working Papers 1405, Universidade de Vigo, GEN - Governance and Economics research Network.
  11. Marte Rønning & Jon Hernes Fiva, 2004. "Property Taxation as a Determinant of School District Efficiency," Working Paper Series 5105, Department of Economics, Norwegian University of Science and Technology, revised 14 Jul 2005.

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