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Property taxation as incentive for cost control:Empirical evidence for utility services in Norway

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Author Info

  • Lars-Erik Borge

    ()
    (Department of Economics, Norwegian University of Science and Technology)

  • Jørn Rattsø

    ()
    (Department of Economics, Norwegian University of Science and Technology)

Abstract

Recent theoretical research suggests that property taxation has incentive effects that can help control cost problems in the public sector. The institutional setting in Norway allows this first empirical investigation of the incentive effect of property taxation, since we can separate between local governments with and without property tax. The raw data of the variation in the unit cost level for utilities show that local governments with property tax have about 20% lower unit cost. Using both linear regression and propensity score matching, we are not able to wash out the difference in unit costs. Our interpretation is that having a visible and controversial local tax related to property stimulates voter interest in local government activities and thereby may help cost control. The incentive effect is of interest for the design of fiscal federalism.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Department of Economics, Norwegian University of Science and Technology in its series Working Paper Series with number 7606.

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Length: 32 pages
Date of creation: 19 Sep 2006
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:nst:samfok:7606

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Keywords: Property tax; incentive effects; public sector costs; matching;

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References

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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. Paolo Liberati & Agnese Sacchi, 2013. "Tax decentralization and local government size," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 157(1), pages 183-205, October.
  2. Lars-Erik Borge & Jørn Rattsø, 2003. "The Relationships Between Costs and User Charges: The Case of a Norwegian Utility Service," CESifo Working Paper Series 1033, CESifo Group Munich.
  3. Fiva, Jon H. & Rønning, Marte, 2008. "The incentive effects of property taxation: Evidence from Norwegian school districts," Regional Science and Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 38(1), pages 49-62, January.
  4. Sánchez-Braza, Antonio & Pablo-Romero, María del P., 2014. "Evaluation of property tax bonus to promote solar thermal systems in Andalusia (Spain)," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 67(C), pages 832-843.
  5. Jørn Rattsø & Jon Hernes Fiva, 2005. "Decentralization with Property Taxation to Improve Incentives: Evidence from Local Governments’ Discrete Choice," Working Paper Series 5305, Department of Economics, Norwegian University of Science and Technology, revised 02 Sep 2005.
  6. Maura Francese & Massimiliano Piacenza & Marzia Romanelli & Gilberto Turati, 2011. "Understanding Inappropriateness in Health Care: The Role of Supply Structure, Pricing Policies and Political Institutions in Caesarean Deliveries," ERSA conference papers ersa11p1439, European Regional Science Association.
  7. Marte Rønning & Jon Hernes Fiva, 2004. "Property Taxation as a Determinant of School District Efficiency," Working Paper Series 5105, Department of Economics, Norwegian University of Science and Technology, revised 14 Jul 2005.
  8. Andrea Filippo Presbitero & Agnese Sacchi & Alberto Zazzaro, 2014. "Property Tax and Fiscal Discipline in OECD Countries," Mo.Fi.R. Working Papers 95, Money and Finance Research group (Mo.Fi.R.) - Univ. Politecnica Marche - Dept. Economic and Social Sciences.
  9. Sergio Beraldo & Massimiliano Piacenza & Gilberto Turati, 2012. "Fiscal Decentralization In Weak Institutional Environments," Post-Print halshs-00706970, HAL.
  10. Lars-Erik Borge & Jørn Rattsø, 2001. "Income Distribution and Tax Structure: Microeconomic Test of the Meltzer-Richard Hypothesis," CESifo Working Paper Series 543, CESifo Group Munich.

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