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Federal Taxation and the Supply of State Debt

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  • Gilbert Metcalf

Abstract

This paper presents a model of debt finance at the sub-national level from which municipal bond supply equations are derived. Federal tax considerations are shown to be important determinants of the price entering the bond supply equation. Using data on 40 state governments over a seven year period in the 1980s, I show that federal tax rates have an important effect on the supply of municipal bonds - independent of the demand side effect that is usually considered in the literature. Furthermore, the effect persists after controlling for capital expenditures, thereby suggesting that municipal bond proceeds are fungible at the margin. This has implications for the measurement of the tax expenditure associated with tax exempt debt.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 3255.

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Date of creation: Feb 1990
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Publication status: published as Journal of Public Economics, Volume 51, pp. 269-285, (1993)
Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:3255

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  1. Epple, Dennis & Spatt, Chester, 1986. "State restrictions on local debt : Their role in preventing default," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 29(2), pages 199-221, March.
  2. Inman, Robert P., 1987. "Markets, governments, and the "new" political economy," Handbook of Public Economics, in: A. J. Auerbach & M. Feldstein (ed.), Handbook of Public Economics, edition 1, volume 2, chapter 12, pages 647-777 Elsevier.
  3. Myers, Stewart C, 1984. " The Capital Structure Puzzle," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 39(3), pages 575-92, July.
  4. Barro, Robert J, 1979. "On the Determination of the Public Debt," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 87(5), pages 940-71, October.
  5. Bergstrom, Theodore C & Goodman, Robert P, 1973. "Private Demands for Public Goods," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 63(3), pages 280-96, June.
  6. Metcalfe, G.E., 1988. "Federal Tax Policy And Municipal Financial Behavior," Papers 29, Princeton, Woodrow Wilson School - Discussion Paper.
  7. Myers, Stewart C., 1984. "Capital structure puzzle," Working papers 1548-84., Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Sloan School of Management.
  8. Roger H. Gordon & Joel Slemrod, 1985. "An Empirical Examination of Municipal Financial Policy," NBER Working Papers 1599, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  9. Sally A. Asefa & Roy D. Adams & Dennis R. Starleaf, 1981. "Municipal Borrowing: Some Empirical Results," Public Finance Review, , vol. 9(3), pages 271-280, July.
  10. James M. Poterba, 1986. "Explaining the Yield Spread between Taxable and Tax-exempt Bonds : The Role of Expected Tax Policy," NBER Chapters, in: Studies in State and Local Public Finance, pages 5-52 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  11. Metcalf, Gilbert & Feldstein, Martin, 1987. "The Effect of Federal Tax Deductibility on State and Local Taxes and Spending," Scholarly Articles 2766699, Harvard University Department of Economics.
  12. Metcalf, Gilbert E, 1990. "Arbitrage and the Savings Behavior of State Governments," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 72(3), pages 390-96, August.
  13. Kydland, Finn E & Prescott, Edward C, 1977. "Rules Rather Than Discretion: The Inconsistency of Optimal Plans," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 85(3), pages 473-91, June.
  14. James M. Poterba, 1989. "Tax Reform and the Market For Tax-Exempt Debt," NBER Working Papers 2900, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  15. Borcherding, Thomas E & Deacon, Robert T, 1972. "The Demand for the Services of Non-Federal Governments," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 62(5), pages 891-901, December.
  16. repec:fth:coluec:449 is not listed on IDEAS
  17. Engle, Robert F., 1984. "Wald, likelihood ratio, and Lagrange multiplier tests in econometrics," Handbook of Econometrics, in: Z. Griliches† & M. D. Intriligator (ed.), Handbook of Econometrics, edition 1, volume 2, chapter 13, pages 775-826 Elsevier.
  18. Fortune, Peter, 1988. "Municipal Bond Yields: Whose Tax Rates Matter?," National Tax Journal, National Tax Association, vol. 41(2), pages 219-33, June.
  19. Alan J. Auerbach, 1983. "Real Determinants of Corporate Leverage," NBER Working Papers 1151, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  20. Stewart C. Myers, 1984. "Capital Structure Puzzle," NBER Working Papers 1393, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  21. Jensen, Michael C. & Meckling, William H., 1976. "Theory of the firm: Managerial behavior, agency costs and ownership structure," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 3(4), pages 305-360, October.
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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. Maria Cornachione Kula, 2004. "U.S. States, the Medicaid Program, and Tax Smoothing," Southern Economic Journal, Southern Economic Association, vol. 70(3), pages 490-511, January.
  2. Heinemann, Friedrich & Winschel, Viktor, 2001. "Public deficits and borrowing costs: the missing half of market discipline," ZEW Discussion Papers 01-16, ZEW - Zentrum für Europäische Wirtschaftsforschung / Center for European Economic Research.
  3. James M. Poterba & Kim Rueben, 1999. "State Fiscal Institutions and the U.S. Municipal Bond Market," NBER Chapters, in: Fiscal Institutions and Fiscal Performance, pages 181-208 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.

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