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Can lower tax rates be bought? Business rent-seeking and tax competition among U.S.States

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  • Robert S. Chirinko

    ()
    (University of Illinois at Chicago)

  • Daniel J. Wilson

    ()
    (Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco)

Abstract

The standard model of strategic tax competition assumes that government policymakers are perfectly benevolent. We depart from this assumption by allowing policymakers to be influenced by the rent-seeking behavior of businesses. Campaign contributions may affect tax competition and enhance or retard the mobility of capital across jurisdictions. Based on a panel of 48 U.S. states and unique data on business campaign contributions, we find that contributions have a significant direct effect on tax policy, the economic value of a $1 business campaign contribution is nearly $4, the slope of the tax reaction function is negative, and the empirical results are sensitive to state effects.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Institut d'Economia de Barcelona (IEB) in its series Working Papers with number 2010/2.

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Length: 44 pages
Date of creation: 2010
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:ieb:wpaper:2010/4/doc2010-2

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Keywords: Campaign contributions; business taxation; state tax competition;

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References

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  1. Grossman, G.M. & Helpman, E., 1992. "Protection for Sale," Papers 162, Princeton, Woodrow Wilson School - Public and International Affairs.
  2. Robert S. Chirinko & Daniel J. Wilson, 2011. "Tax Competition Among U.S. States: Racing to the Bottom or Riding on a Seesaw?," CESifo Working Paper Series 3535, CESifo Group Munich.
  3. James H. Stock & Motohiro Yogo, 2002. "Testing for Weak Instruments in Linear IV Regression," NBER Technical Working Papers 0284, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  4. Aggarwal Rajesh K. & Meschke Felix & Wang Tracy Yue, 2012. "Corporate Political Donations: Investment or Agency?," Business and Politics, De Gruyter, vol. 14(1), pages 1-40, April.
  5. Chirinko, Robert S. & Wilson, Daniel J., 2008. "State investment tax incentives: A zero-sum game?," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 92(12), pages 2362-2384, December.
  6. Jeremy Edwards & Michael Keen, 1994. "Tax competition and Leviathon," IFS Working Papers W94/07, Institute for Fiscal Studies.
  7. Case, Anne C. & Rosen, Harvey S. & Hines, James Jr., 1993. "Budget spillovers and fiscal policy interdependence : Evidence from the states," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 52(3), pages 285-307, October.
  8. Devereux, Michael P. & Lockwood, Ben & Redoano, Michela, 2008. "Do countries compete over corporate tax rates?," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 92(5-6), pages 1210-1235, June.
  9. Stock, James H & Wright, Jonathan H & Yogo, Motohiro, 2002. "A Survey of Weak Instruments and Weak Identification in Generalized Method of Moments," Journal of Business & Economic Statistics, American Statistical Association, vol. 20(4), pages 518-29, October.
  10. Daniel Wilson, 2006. "The mystery of falling state corporate income taxes," FRBSF Economic Letter, Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco, issue dec8.
  11. Michael J. Cooper & Huseyin Gulen & Alexei V. Ovtchinnikov, 2010. "Corporate Political Contributions and Stock Returns," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 65(2), pages 687-724, 04.
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Cited by:
  1. Michael Funke & Yu-Fu Chen, 2010. "Global warming and extreme events: Rethinking the timing and intensity of environment policy," Quantitative Macroeconomics Working Papers 21007b, Hamburg University, Department of Economics.
  2. Michael Keen & Kai A. Konrad, 2012. "International Tax Competition and Coordination," Working Papers international_tax_competi, Max Planck Institute for Tax Law and Public Finance.
  3. Michael Devereux & Simon Loretz, 2012. "What do we know about corporate tax competition?," Working Papers 1229, Oxford University Centre for Business Taxation.
  4. Esteller-Moré, Alejandro & Galmarini, Umberto & Rizzo, Leonzio, 2012. "Vertical tax competition and consumption externalities in a federation with lobbying," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 96(3), pages 295-305.

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