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Yardstick competition, fiscal disparities, and equalization

Author

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  • Allers, Maarten A.

Abstract

The theory of political yardstick competition states that a comparison of public service levels and tax rates with those in nearby jurisdictions can provide voters with a useful instrument to assess politicians’ performance. However, we argue that fiscal disparities bias this yardstick, and that this bias may be removed through fiscal equalization.

Suggested Citation

  • Allers, Maarten A., 2012. "Yardstick competition, fiscal disparities, and equalization," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 117(1), pages 4-6.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:ecolet:v:117:y:2012:i:1:p:4-6
    DOI: 10.1016/j.econlet.2012.04.076
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Besley, Timothy & Case, Anne, 1995. "Incumbent Behavior: Vote-Seeking, Tax-Setting, and Yardstick Competition," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 85(1), pages 25-45, March.
    2. Besley, Timothy & Smart, Michael, 2007. "Fiscal restraints and voter welfare," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 91(3-4), pages 755-773, April.
    3. Revelli, Federico, 2006. "Performance rating and yardstick competition in social service provision," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 90(3), pages 459-475, February.
    4. Ladd, Helen F. & Yinger, John, 1994. "The Case for Equalizing Aid," National Tax Journal, National Tax Association, vol. 47(1), pages 211-24, March.
    5. Salmon, Pierre, 1987. "Decentralisation as an Incentive Scheme," Oxford Review of Economic Policy, Oxford University Press, vol. 3(2), pages 24-43, Summer.
    6. Ladd, Helen F. & Yinger, John, 1994. "The Case for Equalizing Aid," National Tax Journal, National Tax Association;National Tax Journal, vol. 47(1), pages 211-224, March.
    7. Bordignon, Massimo & Cerniglia, Floriana & Revelli, Federico, 2003. "In search of yardstick competition: a spatial analysis of Italian municipality property tax setting," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 54(2), pages 199-217, September.
    8. Maarten Allers & J. Elhorst, 2005. "Tax Mimicking and Yardstick Competition Among Local Governments in the Netherlands," International Tax and Public Finance, Springer;International Institute of Public Finance, vol. 12(4), pages 493-513, August.
    9. Maarten A. Allers & J. Paul Elhorst, 2011. "A Simultaneous Equations Model Of Fiscal Policy Interactions," Journal of Regional Science, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 51(2), pages 271-291, May.
    10. Kotsogiannis, Christos & Schwager, Robert, 2008. "Accountability and fiscal equalization," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 92(12), pages 2336-2349, December.
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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Vermeulen, W. & Allers, Maarten, 2014. "Fiscal equalization, capitalization and the flypaper effect," Research Report 14023-EEF, University of Groningen, Research Institute SOM (Systems, Organisations and Management).
    2. repec:kap:itaxpf:v:24:y:2017:i:2:d:10.1007_s10797-016-9419-y is not listed on IDEAS
    3. Di Liddo, Giuseppe & Giuranno, Michele G., 2016. "Asymmetric yardstick competition and municipal cooperation," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 141(C), pages 64-66.
    4. Audun Langørgen, 2015. "A structural approach for analyzing fiscal equalization," International Tax and Public Finance, Springer;International Institute of Public Finance, vol. 22(3), pages 376-400, June.
    5. repec:eee:ecolet:v:159:y:2017:i:c:p:134-137 is not listed on IDEAS
    6. Pierre Salmon, 2013. "Horizontal competition in multilevel governmental settings," Working Papers hal-00830876, HAL.
    7. Di Liddo, Giuseppe & Morone, Andrea, 2017. "Yardstick competition and fiscal disparities: An experimental study," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 159(C), pages 134-137.
    8. repec:dgr:rugsom:14019-eef is not listed on IDEAS
    9. Linda Toolsema & Maarten Allers, 2014. "Welfare Financing: Grant Allocation and Efficiency," De Economist, Springer, vol. 162(2), pages 147-166, June.
    10. repec:dgr:rugsom:12004-eef is not listed on IDEAS
    11. Allers, Maarten & Geertsema, Bieuwe, 2014. "The effects of local government amalgamation on public spending and service levels," Research Report 14019-EEF, University of Groningen, Research Institute SOM (Systems, Organisations and Management).
    12. Toolsema-Veldman, Linda & Allers, M.A., 2012. "Welfare financing," Research Report 12004-EEF, University of Groningen, Research Institute SOM (Systems, Organisations and Management).
    13. Christian Bergholz & Ivo Bischoff, 2016. "Local council members’ view on inter-municipal cooperation: Does office-related self interest matter?," MAGKS Papers on Economics 201647, Philipps-Universität Marburg, Faculty of Business Administration and Economics, Department of Economics (Volkswirtschaftliche Abteilung).
    14. repec:dgr:rugsom:14023-eef is not listed on IDEAS

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Yardstick competition; Fiscal disparities; Equalization;

    JEL classification:

    • D72 - Microeconomics - - Analysis of Collective Decision-Making - - - Political Processes: Rent-seeking, Lobbying, Elections, Legislatures, and Voting Behavior
    • H77 - Public Economics - - State and Local Government; Intergovernmental Relations - - - Intergovernmental Relations; Federalism

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