Race to the top and race to the bottom: Tax competition in rural China:
Abstract"Fiscal federalism has been argued to intensify regional competition and promote economic growth. This paper is the first, to our knowledge, to empirically assess the patterns and extent of strategic tax competition between geographically neighboring governments in China. Using a panel data set containing data at the county level, we apply Anselin's (1995) local indicator of spatial association (LISA) approach to statistically test the existence of local capital tax competition and examine its determining factors. We find heterogeneous tax competition behaviors across regions. Under decentralized fiscal structure and centralized merit-based governance structure, local governments have strong incentives to compete with each other to attract mobile capital. Counties in the coastal areas with favorable initial conditions of larger tax base tend to “race to the bottom” by lowering tax rates so as to create a pro-business environment. In contrast, the local governments in poor regions have difficulty in competing with the governments on the coast to attract investment and develop the local nonfarm economy. Their local revenues are sometimes barely sufficient to cover the salaries of civil servants on the public payroll. Consequently, they are more likely to levy heavy taxes on existing enterprises, worsening the business investment environment. This leads to a “race to the top” in raising effective tax rate in lagging regions." from authors' abstract
Download InfoIf you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.
Bibliographic InfoPaper provided by International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI) in its series IFPRI discussion papers with number 799.
Date of creation: 2008
Date of revision:
Fiscal decentralization; Regional inequality; Tax competition; economic growth; Development strategies;
This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:
- NEP-ALL-2008-10-21 (All new papers)
- NEP-CNA-2008-10-21 (China)
- NEP-DEV-2008-10-21 (Development)
- NEP-PBE-2008-10-21 (Public Economics)
- NEP-TRA-2008-10-21 (Transition Economics)
- NEP-URE-2008-10-21 (Urban & Real Estate Economics)
You can help add them by filling out this form.
reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.Access and download statisticsgeneral information about how to correct material in RePEc.
For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: ().
If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.
If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.
If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.
Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.