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Product Differentiation and Public Education

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Author Info

  • William H. Hoyt

    (University of Kentucky)

  • Richard A. Jensen

    (University of Kentucky)

Abstract

Beginning with Tiebout (1956), numerous studies have argued that we should expect to see differences in public services among localities as a result of people "voting with their feet". Here, we consider differentiation in public services as a way of reducing competition among localities (cities). If cities finance their public services with a property tax that generates "tax competition", we find that adoption of quality differentiation in the public services will change the amount of services provided. If the cities maximize property values, this means a reduction in the level of public services provided for both the city that provides high quality as well as with low quality. The reduction in public services in both cities means that under certain conditions property values in both cities can increase. Thus in a two-stage game of adoption, we can observe quality differentiation in the services when the property tax is used. This is in sharp contrast to the case with a head tax in which we should never observe this type of differentiation. We believe quality differentiation might be particularly relevant to the provision of primary and secondary education. We argue that the extent of the differentiation in the quality and type of educational services provided among school districts might be in part a response to the detrimental effects of tax competition rather than entirely a "Tiebout- like" response to differences in tastes.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by EconWPA in its series Public Economics with number 9704001.

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Length: 29 pages
Date of creation: 08 Apr 1997
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:wpa:wuwppe:9704001

Note: Type of Document - Binary Word for Windows (V.6/7) document; prepared on IBM PC Compat.; to print on HP LaserJet; pages: 29 .
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References

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  1. Wildasin, David E., 1989. "Interjurisdictional capital mobility: Fiscal externality and a corrective subsidy," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 25(2), pages 193-212, March.
  2. Krelove, R., 1993. "The persistence and inefficiency of property tax finance of local public expenditures," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 51(3), pages 415-435, July.
  3. Brennan,Geoffrey & Buchanan,James M., 1980. "The Power to Tax," Cambridge Books, Cambridge University Press, number 9780521233293, December.
  4. Jensen, Richard & Toma, Eugenia Froedge, 1991. "Debt in a model of tax competition," Regional Science and Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 21(3), pages 371-392, November.
  5. Charles M. Tiebout, 1956. "A Pure Theory of Local Expenditures," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 64, pages 416.
  6. Wellisch, Dietmar, 1994. "Interregional spillovers in the presence of perfect and imperfect household mobility," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 55(2), pages 167-184, October.
  7. Oates, Wallace E, 1969. "The Effects of Property Taxes and Local Public Spending on Property Values: An Empirical Study of Tax Capitalization and the Tiebout Hypothesis," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 77(6), pages 957-71, Nov./Dec..
  8. Wilson, John D., 1986. "A theory of interregional tax competition," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 19(3), pages 296-315, May.
  9. Sonstelie, Jon C. & Portney, Paul R., 1978. "Profit maximizing communities and the theory of local public expenditure," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 5(2), pages 263-277, April.
  10. Henderson, J Vernon, 1985. "The Tiebout Model: Bring Back the Entrepreneurs," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 93(2), pages 248-64, April.
  11. Burbidge, John B. & Myers, Gordon M., 1994. "Population mobility and capital tax competition," Regional Science and Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 24(4), pages 441-459, August.
  12. Bucovetsky, Sam & Wilson, John Douglas, 1991. "Tax competition with two tax instruments," Regional Science and Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 21(3), pages 333-350, November.
  13. Jeremy Edwards & Michael Keen, 1994. "Tax competition and Leviathon," IFS Working Papers W94/07, Institute for Fiscal Studies.
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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. Zissimos, Ben & Wooders, Myrna, 2005. "Relaxing Tax Competition through Public Good Differentation," The Warwick Economics Research Paper Series (TWERPS) 737, University of Warwick, Department of Economics.
  2. Krieger, Tim & Haupt, Alexander M. & Lange, Thomas, 2011. "Competition for the International Pool of Talent: Education Policy and Student Mobility," Proceedings of the German Development Economics Conference, Berlin 2011 49, Verein für Socialpolitik, Research Committee Development Economics.
  3. Abdessalam, A. H. Ould & Kamwa, Eric, 2013. "Tax competition and determination of the quality of public goods," Economics Discussion Papers 2013-31, Kiel Institute for the World Economy.
  4. Zissimos, Ben & Wooders, Myrna, 2008. "Public good differentiation and the intensity of tax competition," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 92(5-6), pages 1105-1121, June.

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