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Strategic fiscal interaction across borders: Evidence from French and German local governments along the Rhine Valley

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  • Cassette, Aurélie
  • Di Porto, Edoardo
  • Foremny, Dirk

Abstract

This article contributes to the literature on local tax interactions. Its novelty lies in its focus on the interactions of local governments across national borders. We use panel data for the French and German municipalities in the Rhine Valley for the period 2000–2007. The local governments of each country influence firms’ overall tax burdens, but the tax instruments available at the local level differ. We estimate panel models that distinguish between the effects of competing municipalities belonging to the same country and belonging to the other country. Our empirical model shows that local jurisdictions along borders choose their business tax rates based on those of their domestic neighbors and that foreign fiscal policy does not have an impact on the local domestic tax setting behavior in these contexts.

Suggested Citation

  • Cassette, Aurélie & Di Porto, Edoardo & Foremny, Dirk, 2012. "Strategic fiscal interaction across borders: Evidence from French and German local governments along the Rhine Valley," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 72(1), pages 17-30.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:juecon:v:72:y:2012:i:1:p:17-30
    DOI: 10.1016/j.jue.2011.12.003
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    2. Edoardo Di Porto & Vincent Merlin & Sonia Paty, 2013. "Cooperation among local governments to deliver public services : a "structural" bivariate response model with fixed effects and endogenous covariate," Working Papers halshs-00787600, HAL.
    3. Borck, Rainald & Fossen, Frank M. & Freier, Ronny & Martin, Thorsten, 2015. "Race to the debt trap? — Spatial econometric evidence on debt in German municipalities," Regional Science and Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 53(C), pages 20-37.
    4. Baskaran, Thushyanthan, 2015. "Tax mimicking in the short- and the long-run: Evidence from German reunification," VfS Annual Conference 2015 (Muenster): Economic Development - Theory and Policy 113088, Verein für Socialpolitik / German Economic Association.
    5. Blesse, Sebastian & Martin, Thorsten, 2015. "Let's stay in touch - evidence on the role of social learning in local tax interactions," ZEW Discussion Papers 15-081, ZEW - Leibniz Centre for European Economic Research.
    6. Atella, Vincenzo & Belotti, Federico & Depalo, Domenico & Piano Mortari, Andrea, 2014. "Measuring spatial effects in the presence of institutional constraints: The case of Italian Local Health Authority expenditure," Regional Science and Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 49(C), pages 232-241.
    7. Jongmin Shon, 2022. "Tax Competition over Tax Base: An Evidence of Local Sales Tax in California Counties," Hacienda Pública Española / Review of Public Economics, IEF, vol. 241(2), pages 59-77, June.
    8. Drucker, Joshua & Funderburg, Richard & Merriman, David & Weber, Rachel, 2020. "Do local governments use business tax incentives to compensate for high business property taxes?," Regional Science and Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 81(C).
    9. Jelena Stankoviæ & Marija Džuniæ & Željko Džuniæ & Srðan Marinkoviæ, 2017. "A multi-criteria evaluation of the European cities’ smart performance: Economic, social and environmental aspects," Zbornik radova Ekonomskog fakulteta u Rijeci/Proceedings of Rijeka Faculty of Economics, University of Rijeka, Faculty of Economics and Business, vol. 35(2), pages 519-550.
    10. Benny Geys & Steffen Osterloh, 2013. "Borders As Boundaries To Fiscal Policy Interactions? An Empirical Analysis Of Politicians’ Opinions On Rivals In The Competition For Firms," Journal of Regional Science, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 53(4), pages 583-606, October.
    11. Agrawal, David R., 2016. "Local fiscal competition: An application to sales taxation with multiple federations," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 91(C), pages 122-138.
    12. Johan Lundberg, 2021. "Horizontal interactions in local personal income taxes," The Annals of Regional Science, Springer;Western Regional Science Association, vol. 67(1), pages 27-46, August.
    13. Baskaran, Thushyanthan, 2014. "Identifying local tax mimicking with administrative borders and a policy reform," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 118(C), pages 41-51.
    14. Reingewertz, Yaniv, 2012. "Do municipal amalgamations work? Evidence from municipalities in Israel," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 72(2), pages 240-251.
    15. Streif, Frank, 2015. "Tax competition in Europe: Europe in competition with other world regions?," ZEW Discussion Papers 15-082, ZEW - Leibniz Centre for European Economic Research.
    16. Björn Kauder, 2015. "Spatial Administrative Structure And Intrametropolitan Tax Competition," Journal of Regional Science, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 55(4), pages 626-643, September.
    17. Yu, Jihai & Zhou, Li-An & Zhu, Guozhong, 2016. "Strategic interaction in political competition: Evidence from spatial effects across Chinese cities," Regional Science and Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 57(C), pages 23-37.
    18. Björn Kauder, 2014. "Spatial Administrative Structure and Intra-Metropolitan Tax Competition," ifo Working Paper Series 191, ifo Institute - Leibniz Institute for Economic Research at the University of Munich.
    19. Francisco Bastida & Bernardino Benito & Maria-Dolores Guillamon, 2019. "Tax mimicking in Spanish municipalities: expenditure spillovers, yardstick competition, or tax competition?," Public Sector Economics, Institute of Public Finance, vol. 43(2), pages 115-139.
    20. Shun‐ichiro Bessho & Yoko Ibuka, 2019. "Interdependency in vaccination policies among Japanese municipalities," Health Economics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 28(2), pages 299-310, February.

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Fiscal interactions; Tax competition; Spatial econometrics; Fiscal federalism;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • H7 - Public Economics - - State and Local Government; Intergovernmental Relations
    • H71 - Public Economics - - State and Local Government; Intergovernmental Relations - - - State and Local Taxation, Subsidies, and Revenue
    • H87 - Public Economics - - Miscellaneous Issues - - - International Fiscal Issues; International Public Goods
    • H2 - Public Economics - - Taxation, Subsidies, and Revenue
    • H25 - Public Economics - - Taxation, Subsidies, and Revenue - - - Business Taxes and Subsidies
    • C23 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Single Equation Models; Single Variables - - - Models with Panel Data; Spatio-temporal Models

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