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How Fiscal Decentralization Flattens Progressive Taxes

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  • Roland Hodler
  • Kurt Schmidheiny

Abstract

We study the tension between fiscal decentralization and progressive taxation. We present a multi-community model in which households differ in incomes and housing preferences and in which the local income tax rate is a function of an exogenous progressive tax schedule and an endogenous local tax shifter. The progressivity of the tax schedule induces a self-sorting process that results in substantial though imperfect income sorting. The actual tax structure is thus less progressive than the exogenous tax schedule. Empirical evidence from the largest Swiss metropolitan area supports the predictions of our model.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by CESifo Group Munich in its series CESifo Working Paper Series with number 1575.

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Date of creation: 2005
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Handle: RePEc:ces:ceswps:_1575

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Keywords: progressive taxation; fiscal decentralization; income segregation;

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References

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  1. Anna Hardman & Yannis Ioannides, 2004. "Neighbors’ Income Distribution: Economic Segregation and Mixing in US Urban Neighborhoods," Discussion Papers Series, Department of Economics, Tufts University 0421, Department of Economics, Tufts University.
  2. Schmidheiny, Kurt, 2006. "Income segregation and local progressive taxation: Empirical evidence from Switzerland," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 90(3), pages 429-458, February.
  3. Ross, Stephen & Yinger, John, 1999. "Sorting and voting: A review of the literature on urban public finance," Handbook of Regional and Urban Economics, in: P. C. Cheshire & E. S. Mills (ed.), Handbook of Regional and Urban Economics, edition 1, volume 3, chapter 47, pages 2001-2060 Elsevier.
  4. Westhoff, Frank, 1977. "Existence of equilibria in economies with a local public good," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 14(1), pages 84-112, February.
  5. Feldstein, Martin & Wrobel, Marian Vaillant, 1998. "Can state taxes redistribute income?," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 68(3), pages 369-396, June.
  6. Mayo, Stephen K., 1981. "Theory and estimation in the economics of housing demand," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 10(1), pages 95-116, July.
  7. Hansen, Julia L. & Formby, John P. & Smith, W. James, 1996. "The Income Elasticity of Demand for Housing: Evidence from Concentration Curves," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 39(2), pages 173-192, March.
  8. Hansen, Julia L. & Formby, John P. & Smith, W. James, 1998. "Estimating the Income Elasticity of Demand for Housing: A Comparison of Traditional and Lorenz-Concentration Curve Methodologies," Journal of Housing Economics, Elsevier, vol. 7(4), pages 328-342, December.
  9. Ellickson, Bryan, 1971. "Jurisdictional Fragmentation and Residential Choice," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 61(2), pages 334-39, May.
  10. Epple, Dennis & Platt, Glenn J., 1998. "Equilibrium and Local Redistribution in an Urban Economy when Households Differ in both Preferences and Incomes," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 43(1), pages 23-51, January.
  11. Epple, Dennis & Romer, Thomas, 1991. "Mobility and Redistribution," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 99(4), pages 828-58, August.
  12. Goodspeed, Timothy J., 1989. "A re-examination of the use of ability to pay taxes by local governments," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 38(3), pages 319-342, April.
  13. Dennis Epple & Holger Sieg, 1999. "Estimating Equilibrium Models of Local Jurisdictions," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 107(4), pages 645-681, August.
  14. Wallace E. Oates, 1999. "An Essay on Fiscal Federalism," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 37(3), pages 1120-1149, September.
  15. Young, H Peyton, 1990. "Progressive Taxation and Equal Sacrifice," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 80(1), pages 253-66, March.
  16. Kurt Schmidheiny, 2005. "Income Segregation from Local Income Taxation When Households Differ in Both Preferences and Incomes," Discussion Papers Series, Department of Economics, Tufts University 0509, Department of Economics, Tufts University.
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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. Darlene C. Chisholm & Margaret S. McMillan & George Norman, 2006. "Product Differentiation and Film Programming Choice: Do First-Run Movie Theatres Show the Same Films?," NBER Working Papers 12646, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. Kurt Schmidheiny, 2003. "Income Segregation and Local Progressive Taxation: Empirical Evidence from Switzerland," Diskussionsschriften dp0311, Universitaet Bern, Departement Volkswirtschaft.
  3. Gilbert Metcalf & Jongsang Park, 2007. "A comment on the role of prices for excludable public goods," International Tax and Public Finance, Springer, vol. 14(6), pages 685-698, December.
  4. Ioannides, Yannis M. & Soetevent, Adriaan R., 2007. "Social networking and individual outcomes beyond the mean field case," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 64(3-4), pages 369-390.
  5. Kai A. Konrad & Stergios Skaperdas, 2005. "The Market for Protection and the Origin of the State," CESifo Working Paper Series 1578, CESifo Group Munich.
  6. Schaltegger, Christoph A. & Somogyi, Frank & Sturm, Jan-Egbert, 2011. "Tax competition and income sorting: Evidence from the Zurich metropolitan area," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 27(3), pages 455-470, September.
  7. Darlene C. Chisholm & George Norman, 2006. "When to Exit a Product: Evidence from the U. S. Motion-Picture Exhibition Market," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 96(2), pages 57-61, May.
  8. Antoni Calvo-Armengol & Yannis M. Ioannides, 2005. "Social Networks in Labor Markets," Discussion Papers Series, Department of Economics, Tufts University 0517, Department of Economics, Tufts University.
  9. Sergii Slukhai, 2009. "Inter-Location Small Business Tax Rate Variation in Ukraine: What Is Behind It?," Financial Theory and Practice, Institute of Public Finance, vol. 33(1), pages 49-71.

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