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Tax competition among local governments: Evidence from a property tax reform in Finland

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  • Lyytikäinen, Teemu

Abstract

This paper uses a Finnish policy intervention to study tax competition among local governments. Changes in the statutory lower limits to the property tax rates are used as a source of exogenous variation to estimate the responses of municipalities to tax rates in their neighboring municipalities. I do not find evidence of interdependence in property tax rates among Finnish municipalities. The results are in contrast to the earlier empirical literature, using data from other countries, that has mainly found positive interdependence in tax rates. I compare the causal estimates based on the policy change to the commonly used Spatial Lag estimates and Spatial Instrumental Variables estimates, which are based on highly restrictive assumptions. The comparisons suggest that the standard spatial econometrics methods may have a tendency to overestimate the degree of interdependence in tax rates.

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Bibliographic Info

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

Volume (Year): 96 (2012)
Issue (Month): 7-8 ()
Pages: 584-595

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Handle: RePEc:eee:pubeco:v:96:y:2012:i:7:p:584-595

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

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Keywords: Property tax; Tax competition; Fiscal interaction; Instrumental variables; Spatial econometrics;

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References

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  1. Edmark, Karin & Ågren, Hanna, 2006. "Identifying Strategic Interactions in Swedish Local Income Tax Policies," Working Paper Series 2006:22, Uppsala University, Department of Economics.
  2. Steve Gibbons & Henry G. Overman, 2010. "Mostly Pointless Spatial Econometrics?," SERC Discussion Papers 0061, Spatial Economics Research Centre, LSE.
  3. Eugster, Beatrix & Parchet, Raphaël, 2013. "Culture and Taxes: Towards Identifying Tax Competition," Economics Working Paper Series 1339, University of St. Gallen, School of Economics and Political Science.
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  11. Karin Edmark & Matz Dahlberg, 2004. "Is There a "Race-to-the-Bottom" in the Setting of Welfare Benefit Levels? Evidence from a Policy Intervention," Econometric Society 2004 North American Summer Meetings 473, Econometric Society.
  12. Wilson, John Douglas & Wildasin, David E., 2004. "Capital tax competition: bane or boon," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 88(6), pages 1065-1091, June.
  13. Maarten Allers & J. Elhorst, 2005. "Tax Mimicking and Yardstick Competition Among Local Governments in the Netherlands," International Tax and Public Finance, Springer, vol. 12(4), pages 493-513, August.
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  16. Bordignon, Massimo & Cerniglia, Floriana & Revelli, Federico, 2003. "In search of yardstick competition: a spatial analysis of Italian municipality property tax setting," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 54(2), pages 199-217, September.
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  18. Federico Revelli, 2002. "Testing the taxmimicking versus expenditure spill-over hypotheses using English data," Applied Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 34(14), pages 1723-1731.
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Cited by:
  1. Stephen Gibbons & Henry G. Overman, 2012. "Mostly Pointless Spatial Econometrics?," Journal of Regional Science, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 52(2), pages 172-191, 05.
  2. Ida, Tomoya & Wilhelmsson, Mats, 2014. "An Empirical Test Of The Dominant Tax Externality In Sweden," Working Paper Series 14/5, Department of Real Estate and Construction Management & Centre for Banking and Finance (cefin), Royal Institute of Technology.
  3. Baskaran, Thushyanthan & Lopes da Fonseca, Mariana, 2013. "The economics and empirics of tax competition: A survey," Center for European, Governance and Economic Development Research Discussion Papers 163, University of Goettingen, Department of Economics.
  4. Baskaran, Thushyanthan, 2013. "Identifying local tax mimicking: Administrative borders and a policy reform," Center for European, Governance and Economic Development Research Discussion Papers 157, University of Goettingen, Department of Economics.

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