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Which Communities should be afraid of Mobility? The Effects of Agglomeration Economies on the Sensitivity of Firm Location to Local Taxes

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  • Jordi Jofre-Monseny
  • Albert Solé-Ollé

Abstract

This paper examines the effects of agglomeration economies (AE) on the sensitivity of firm location to tax differentials. An initial reading of the story suggests that, with AE, when a firm moves into a community attracted by a tax reduction, other firms may decide to move in as well. This suggests that AE increase the sensitivity of firm location to local taxes. However, a second version of the story reads that, if economic activities are highly concentrated in space, AE might offset any tax differential, hence suggesting a reduction in this sensitivity. This paper provides a theoretical model of intraregional firm location with Marshallian AE that is able to generate both hypotheses: AE increase (decrease) the effect of taxes when locations are (are not) of a similar size. We then use Spanish municipal data for the period 1995-2002 to test these hypotheses, analyzing the combined effect of local business taxes and Marshallian AE on the intraregional location of employment. In line with the theory, a municipality with stronger AE experiences lower (higher) tax effects if it is sufficiently dissimilar (similar) to its neighbors in terms of size.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by CESifo Group Munich in its series CESifo Working Paper Series with number 2311.

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Date of creation: 2008
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Handle: RePEc:ces:ceswps:_2311

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Keywords: local taxes; agglomeration economies; local employment growth; instrumental variables;

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References

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  1. Goolsbee, Austan & Maydew, Edward L., 2000. "Coveting thy neighbor's manufacturing: the dilemma of state income apportionment," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 75(1), pages 125-143, January.
  2. Jordi Jofre Monseny & Alberto Sole Olle, 2007. "Tax Differentials and Agglomeration Economies in Intraregional Firm Location," Working Papers in Economics 180, Universitat de Barcelona. Espai de Recerca en Economia.
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  9. Gilles Duranton & Laurent Gobillon & Henry G Overman, 2006. "Assessing the effects of local taxation using microgeographic data," Working Papers tecipa-247, University of Toronto, Department of Economics.
  10. Marius Brülhart & Mario Jametti & Kurt Schmidheiny, 2007. "Do agglomeration economies reduce the sensitivity of firm location to tax differentials?," Economics Working Papers 1062, Department of Economics and Business, Universitat Pompeu Fabra.
  11. Ludema, Rodney D & Wooton, Ian, 1998. "Economic Geography and the Fiscal Effects of Regional Integration," CEPR Discussion Papers 1822, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
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  15. Fernandez, Gonzalo E., 2005. "A note on tax competition in the presence of agglomeration economies," Regional Science and Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 35(6), pages 837-847, November.
  16. Burbidge, John & Cuff, Katherine & Leach, John, 2006. "Tax competition with heterogeneous firms," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 90(3), pages 533-549, February.
  17. Buettner, Thiess, 2003. "Tax base effects and fiscal externalities of local capital taxation: evidence from a panel of German jurisdictions," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 54(1), pages 110-128, July.
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  19. Sylvie Charlot & Sonia Paty, 2007. "Market access effect and local tax setting: evidence from French panel data," Journal of Economic Geography, Oxford University Press, vol. 7(3), pages 247-263, May.
  20. Fredrik Carlsen & Bjørg Langset & Jørn Rattsø, 2005. "The relationship between firm mobility and tax level: Empirical evidence of fiscal competition between local governments," Discussion Papers 424, Research Department of Statistics Norway.
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Cited by:
  1. Hansjörg Blöchliger & José Maria Pinero Campos, 2011. "Tax Competition Between Sub-Central Governments," OECD Working Papers on Fiscal Federalism 13, OECD Publishing.
  2. Hyun-Ju Koh & Nadine Riedel, 2010. "Do Governments Tax Agglomeration Rents?," CESifo Working Paper Series 2976, CESifo Group Munich.
  3. Jordi Jofre-Monseny, 2010. "Is agglomeration taxable?," Working Papers 2010/15, Institut d'Economia de Barcelona (IEB).

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