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Empirical Assessment of the Existence of Taxable Agglomeration Rents

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  • Souleymane COULIBALY

Abstract

The New Economic Geography literature claims that firms are ready to pay more tax in "big markets" because of agglomeration rents. Tax authorities can thus set higher tax rates in denser economic area, hence an opposite mechanism to the "race to the bottom" process described by the classical tax competition theory. The aim of this paper is to empirically assess the existence of such agglomeration rents. We use Swiss data on municipalities corporate income tax rates and firms location to test the tax gap between these municipalities and the most peripheral one using a theory-based relation. Our estimations indicate that municipalities with higher agglomeration rents (measured as the number of firms plus the "potential of neighboring firms") are setting higher corporate income tax rates, hence confirming the existence of taxable agglomeration rents.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Université de Lausanne, Faculté des HEC, DEEP in its series Cahiers de Recherches Economiques du Département d'Econométrie et d'Economie politique (DEEP) with number 08.01.

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Length: 33 pages
Date of creation: Jan 2008
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:lau:crdeep:08.01

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Postal: Université de Lausanne, Faculté des HEC, DEEP, Internef, CH-1015 Lausanne
Phone: ++41 21 692.33.64
Fax: ++41 21 692.33.05
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Web page: http://www.hec.unil.ch/deep/publications/cahiers/series
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Keywords: agglomeration rents; tax competition; potential of neighboring firms;

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References

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  1. Ludema, Rodney D. & Wooton, Ian, 2000. "Economic geography and the fiscal effects of regional integration," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 52(2), pages 331-357, December.
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  7. Rainald Borck & Michael Pflüger, 2004. "Agglomeration and Tax Competition," Discussion Papers of DIW Berlin 408, DIW Berlin, German Institute for Economic Research.
  8. Ciccone, Antonio & Hall, Robert E, 1996. "Productivity and the Density of Economic Activity," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 86(1), pages 54-70, March.
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  10. Wilson, J.D., 1990. "Tax Competition With Interregional Differences In Factor Endowments," Working Papers 4, John Deutsch Institute for the Study of Economic Policy.
  11. Wilson, John D., 1986. "A theory of interregional tax competition," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 19(3), pages 296-315, May.
  12. Krogstrup, Signe, 2002. "Public debt asymmetries: the effect on taxes and spending in the European Union," Working Paper Series 0162, European Central Bank.
  13. Kirchgassner, Gebhard & Pommerehne, Werner W., 1996. "Tax harmonization and tax competition in the European Union: Lessons from Switzerland," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 60(3), pages 351-371, June.
  14. Ottaviano, Gianmarco Ireo Paolo & van Ypersele, Tanguy, 2002. "Market Access and Tax Competition," CEPR Discussion Papers 3638, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
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Cited by:
  1. Karen Crabbe & Karolien De Bruyne, 2011. "Taxes, agglomeration rents and location decision of firms," Vives discussion paper series 15, Katholieke Universiteit Leuven, Faculteit Economie en Bedrijfswetenschappen, Vives.

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