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The "Flypaper Effect" Is Not an Anomaly

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  • Roemer, John E
  • Silvestre, Joaquim

Abstract

The empirical nonequivalence between grants by a central government and increases in community income (the "flypaper effect") has been considered anomalous. But the "anomaly" label is na*ve: in a multiconsumer community, equivalence demands an unlikely match of tax rules and income-growth patterns. We go beyond the single-policy-variable, median-voter model and apply Roemer's concept of Party Unanimity Nash Equilibrium, which allows for party competition in multidimensional policy spaces. We compute the equilibria for a model with two independent policy variables (intercept and slope of an affine tax schedule) and obtain numerical values that agree with the empirical literature. Copyright 2002 by Blackwell Publishing Inc.

Suggested Citation

  • Roemer, John E & Silvestre, Joaquim, 2002. " The "Flypaper Effect" Is Not an Anomaly," Journal of Public Economic Theory, Association for Public Economic Theory, vol. 4(1), pages 1-17.
  • Handle: RePEc:bla:jpbect:v:4:y:2002:i:1:p:1-17
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Hamilton, Jonathan H., 1986. "The flypaper effect and the deadweight loss from taxation," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 19(2), pages 148-155, March.
    2. John E. Roemer, 1999. "The Democratic Political Economy of Progressive Income Taxation," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 67(1), pages 1-20, January.
    3. Roemer, John E., 1998. "Why the poor do not expropriate the rich: an old argument in new garb," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 70(3), pages 399-424, December.
    4. James R. Hines & Richard H. Thaler, 1995. "The Flypaper Effect," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 9(4), pages 217-226, Fall.
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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. van de Walle, Dominique & Mu, Ren, 2007. "Fungibility and the flypaper effect of project aid: Micro-evidence for Vietnam," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 84(2), pages 667-685, November.
    2. Vittoria Idrisova & Lev Freinkman, 2010. "Impact of Federal Transfers over Regional Authorities Behavior," Research Paper Series, Gaidar Institute for Economic Policy, issue 137P.
    3. Bev Dahlby & Ergete Ferede, 2016. "The stimulative effects of intergovernmental grants and the marginal cost of public funds," International Tax and Public Finance, Springer;International Institute of Public Finance, vol. 23(1), pages 114-139, February.
    4. Carlos A. Vegh y Guillermo Vuletin, 2016. "Unsticking the flypaper effect using distortionary taxation," Económica, Departamento de Economía, Facultad de Ciencias Económicas, Universidad Nacional de La Plata, vol. 62, pages 185-237, January-D.
    5. Tae Ho Eom & William Duncombe & Phuong Nguyen-Hoang & John Yinger, 2014. "The Unintended Consequences of Property Tax Relief: New York’s STAR Program," Education Finance and Policy, MIT Press, vol. 9(4), pages 446-480, October.
    6. Dahlby, Bev & Rodden, Jonathan & Wilson, Sam, 2009. "A Median Voter Model of the Vertical Fiscal Gap," Working Papers 2009-14, University of Alberta, Department of Economics.
    7. Bev Dahlby, 2011. "The marginal cost of public funds and the flypaper effect," International Tax and Public Finance, Springer;International Institute of Public Finance, vol. 18(3), pages 304-321, June.
    8. Chen, Shaohua & Mu, Ren & Ravallion, Martin, 2008. "Are there lasting impacts of aid to poor areas ? Evidence from rural China," Policy Research Working Paper Series 4084, The World Bank.
    9. Fernando M. Aragon, 2013. "Local Spending, Transfers, and Costly Tax Collection," National Tax Journal, National Tax Association;National Tax Journal, vol. 66(2), pages 343-370, June.
    10. Steven C. Deller & Craig S. Maher, 2006. "A Model of Asymmetries in the Flypaper Effect," Publius: The Journal of Federalism, Oxford University Press, vol. 36(2), pages 213-229.
    11. Furukawa, Mitsuaki & Takahata, Junichiro, 2013. "Is GBS Still a Preferable Aid Modality?," Working Papers 50, JICA Research Institute.
    12. Javiera Bravo, 2013. "The Income Effect of Unconditional Grants: A Reduction in the Collection Effort of Municipalities," Documentos de Trabajo 437, Instituto de Economia. Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile..
    13. Gabriella Legrenzi & Costas Milas, 2006. "Asymmetric and Non-Linear Adjustments in Local Fiscal Policy," Keele Economics Research Papers KERP 2006/16, Centre for Economic Research, Keele University.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • D72 - Microeconomics - - Analysis of Collective Decision-Making - - - Political Processes: Rent-seeking, Lobbying, Elections, Legislatures, and Voting Behavior
    • H41 - Public Economics - - Publicly Provided Goods - - - Public Goods
    • H71 - Public Economics - - State and Local Government; Intergovernmental Relations - - - State and Local Taxation, Subsidies, and Revenue
    • H77 - Public Economics - - State and Local Government; Intergovernmental Relations - - - Intergovernmental Relations; Federalism

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