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Do Fiscal Transfers Alleviate Business Tax Competition? Evidence from Germany

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Author Info

  • Peter Egger
  • Marko Koethenbuerger
  • Michael Smart

Abstract

The paper empirically analyzes the incentive effects of equalizing transfers on business tax policy by exploiting a natural experiment in the state of Lower Saxony which changed its equalization formula as of 1999. We resort to within-state and across-state difference-in-difference estimates to identify the reform effect on municipalities' business tax rates. Confirming the theoretical prediction, the reform had a significant impact on the municipalities’ tax policy in the four years after the reform with a “phasing out” of the effect starting in the fourth to fifth year. The finding is robust to various alternative specifications.

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File URL: http://www.cesifo-group.de/portal/page/portal/DocBase_Content/WP/WP-CESifo_Working_Papers/wp-cesifo-2007/wp-cesifo-2007-03/cesifo1_wp1955.pdf
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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by CESifo Group Munich in its series CESifo Working Paper Series with number 1955.

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Date of creation: 2007
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Handle: RePEc:ces:ceswps:_1955

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Related research

Keywords: equalization grants; tax competition; local public finance; fiscal capacity equalization;

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References

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  1. Michael Smart, 1998. "Taxation and Deadweight Loss in a System of Intergovernmental Transfers," Canadian Journal of Economics, Canadian Economics Association, vol. 31(1), pages 189-206, February.
  2. Guido W. Imbens, 2004. "Nonparametric Estimation of Average Treatment Effects Under Exogeneity: A Review," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 86(1), pages 4-29, February.
  3. Markus Froelich, 2002. "Programme Evaluation with Multiple Treatments," University of St. Gallen Department of Economics working paper series 2002 2002-17, Department of Economics, University of St. Gallen.
  4. Bucovetsky, S., 1991. "Asymmetric tax competition," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 30(2), pages 167-181, September.
  5. Richard Blundell & Monica Costa Dias, 2008. "Alternative approaches to evaluation in empirical microeconomics," CeMMAP working papers CWP26/08, Centre for Microdata Methods and Practice, Institute for Fiscal Studies.
  6. Bev Dahlby & Neil Warren, 2003. "Fiscal Incentive Effects of the Australian Equalisation System," The Economic Record, The Economic Society of Australia, vol. 79(247), pages 434-445, December.
  7. Sam Bucovetsky & Michael Smart, 2006. "The Efficiency Consequences of Local Revenue Equalization: Tax Competition and Tax Distortions," Journal of Public Economic Theory, Association for Public Economic Theory, vol. 8(1), pages 119-144, 01.
  8. Michael Smart, 2007. "Raising taxes through equalization," Canadian Journal of Economics, Canadian Economics Association, vol. 40(4), pages 1188-1212, November.
  9. Büttner, Thiess, 2005. "The Incentive Effect of Fiscal Equalization Transfers on Tax Policy," Center for European, Governance and Economic Development Research Discussion Papers 37, University of Goettingen, Department of Economics.
  10. Masayoshi Hayashi & Robin Boadway, 2001. "An empirical analysis of intergovernmental tax interaction: the case of business income taxes in Canada," Canadian Journal of Economics, Canadian Economics Association, vol. 34(2), pages 481-503, May.
  11. Christian Baretti & Bernd Huber & Karl Lichtblau, 2002. "A Tax on Tax Revenue: The Incentive Effects of Equalizing Transfers: Evidence from Germany," International Tax and Public Finance, Springer, vol. 9(6), pages 631-649, November.
  12. Marko Köthenbürger, 2002. "Tax Competition and Fiscal Equalization," International Tax and Public Finance, Springer, vol. 9(4), pages 391-408, August.
  13. Baretti, Christian & Huber, Bernd & Lichtblau, Karl, 2002. "A Tax on Tax Revenue: The Incentive Effects of Equalizing Transfers: Evidence from Germany," Munich Reprints in Economics 20129, University of Munich, Department of Economics.
  14. Jon Gruber & Emmanuel Saez, 2000. "The Elasticity of Taxable Income: Evidence and Implications," NBER Working Papers 7512, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  15. James J. Heckman, 1977. "Dummy Endogenous Variables in a Simultaneous Equation System," NBER Working Papers 0177, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  16. Alberto Abadie & Guido W. Imbens, 2006. "Large Sample Properties of Matching Estimators for Average Treatment Effects," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 74(1), pages 235-267, 01.
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