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Tax and the city — A theory of local tax competition

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  • Janeba, Eckhard
  • Osterloh, Steffen

Abstract

In this paper we propose a novel theoretical model of tax competition at the local level. Large jurisdictions (cities) compete both locally with smaller neighbouring communities and interregionally with more distant cities, while small jurisdictions (hinterlands) compete only with other jurisdictions in their neighbourhood. The model structure is motivated by recent empirical findings as well as survey results among German mayors: the perceived intensity of competition for firms varies considerably between jurisdictions and can mainly be explained by the size and location of the jurisdiction. Our model predicts – contrary to earlier findings for competition between countries or regions – that capital taxes of large jurisdictions fall more strongly with increasing interregional competition and may eventually lead to smaller taxes than in small jurisdictions. Hinterlands are therefore less affected from globalisation than cities. We contrast our results with a standard tax competition model in which all jurisdictions compete with all other jurisdictions.

Suggested Citation

  • Janeba, Eckhard & Osterloh, Steffen, 2013. "Tax and the city — A theory of local tax competition," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 106(C), pages 89-100.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:pubeco:v:106:y:2013:i:c:p:89-100
    DOI: 10.1016/j.jpubeco.2013.07.004
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Local tax competition; Survey; Intensity of competition; Asymmetric tax competition;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • H71 - Public Economics - - State and Local Government; Intergovernmental Relations - - - State and Local Taxation, Subsidies, and Revenue
    • H73 - Public Economics - - State and Local Government; Intergovernmental Relations - - - Interjurisdictional Differentials and Their Effects
    • H77 - Public Economics - - State and Local Government; Intergovernmental Relations - - - Intergovernmental Relations; Federalism

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