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State investment tax incentives: A zero-sum game?

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  • Chirinko, Robert S.
  • Wilson, Daniel J.

Abstract

Over the past four decades, state investment tax incentives have proliferated. This emergence of state investment tax credits (ITC) and other investment tax incentives raises two important questions: 1) Are these tax incentives effective in achieving their stated objective, to increase investment within the state?; 2) To the extent these incentives raise investment within the state, how much of this increase is due to investment drawn away from other states? To begin to answer these questions, we construct a detailed panel dataset for 48 states for 20+Â years. The dataset contains series on output and capital, their relative prices, and establishment counts. The effects of tax variables on capital formation and establishments are measured by the Jorgensonian user cost of capital that depends in a nonlinear manner on federal and state tax variables. Cross-jurisdictional differences in state investment tax credits and state corporate tax rates entering the user cost, combined with a panel that is long in the time dimension, are key to identifying the effectiveness of state investment incentives. Two models are estimated. The Capital Demand Model is motivated by the first-order condition for a profit-maximizing firm and relates at the state level the capital/output ratio to the relative user cost of capital. The Twin-Counties Model exploits both the spatial breaks ("discontinuities") in tax policy at state borders and our panel dataset to relate at the county level the relative user cost to the location of manufacturing establishments. Using the Capital Demand Model, we find that own-state capital formation is substantially increased by tax-induced reductions in the own-state price of capital and, more interestingly, substantially decreased by tax-induced reductions in the price of capital in competitive-states. Similarly, using our Twin-Counties Model, we find that county manufacturing establishment counts around state borders are higher on the side of the border with the lower price of capital, but the difference is economically small, suggesting that establishments are much less mobile than overall capital. Extensions of the Capital Demand Model also reveal that state capital tax policy appears to be a zero-sum game among the states in that an equiproportionate increase in own-state and competitive-states user costs tends to have no effect on own-state capital formation.

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Journal of Public Economics.

Volume (Year): 92 (2008)
Issue (Month): 12 (December)
Pages: 2362-2384

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Handle: RePEc:eee:pubeco:v:92:y:2008:i:12:p:2362-2384

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Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/inca/505578

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Keywords: H71 H77 H25 H32 State tax incentives Interstate tax competition Business taxation Capital formation Establishment location;

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  1. Hansen, Lars Peter, 1982. "Large Sample Properties of Generalized Method of Moments Estimators," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 50(4), pages 1029-54, July.
  2. Robert S. Chirinko, 1992. "Business Fixed Investment Spending: A Critical survey of Modeling Strategies, Empirical Results, and Policy Implications," Working Papers 9213, Harris School of Public Policy Studies, University of Chicago.
  3. Robert S. Chirinko & Daniel J. Wilson, 2011. "Tax Competition Among U.S. States: Racing to the Bottom or Riding on a Seesaw?," CESifo Working Paper Series 3535, CESifo Group Munich.
  4. Stock, James H & Wright, Jonathan H & Yogo, Motohiro, 2002. "A Survey of Weak Instruments and Weak Identification in Generalized Method of Moments," Journal of Business & Economic Statistics, American Statistical Association, vol. 20(4), pages 518-29, October.
  5. Chirinko, Robert S, 1993. "Business Fixed Investment Spending: Modeling Strategies, Empirical Results, and Policy Implications," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 31(4), pages 1875-1911, December.
  6. Orley Ashenfelter & Alan Krueger, 1992. "Estimates of the Economic Return to Schooling from a New Sample of Twins," Working Papers 683, Princeton University, Department of Economics, Industrial Relations Section..
  7. White, Halbert, 1980. "A Heteroskedasticity-Consistent Covariance Matrix Estimator and a Direct Test for Heteroskedasticity," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 48(4), pages 817-38, May.
  8. Jane G. Gravelle, 1994. "The Economic Effects of Taxing Capital Income," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 0262071584, December.
  9. Nickell, Stephen J, 1981. "Biases in Dynamic Models with Fixed Effects," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 49(6), pages 1417-26, November.
  10. Thomas J. Holmes, 1998. "The Effect of State Policies on the Location of Manufacturing: Evidence from State Borders," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 106(4), pages 667-705, August.
  11. Katharine L. Bradbury & Yolanda K. Kodrzycki & Robert Tannenwald, 1997. "Effects of state and local public policies on economic development: an overview," New England Economic Review, Federal Reserve Bank of Boston, issue Mar, pages 1-12.
  12. Michael Wasylenko, 1997. "Taxation and economic development: the state of the economic literature," New England Economic Review, Federal Reserve Bank of Boston, issue Mar, pages 37-52.
  13. Robert S. Chirinko & Daniel J. Wilson, 2006. "State investment tax incentives: what are the facts?," Working Paper Series 2006-49, Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco.
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  1. Standing on the Shoulders of Giant Nerds: IP in Games Stories
    by noreply@blogger.com (Nicola) in The IPKat on 2012-07-18 14:30:00
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