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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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    1. 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.
    2. 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.
    3. Heinemann, Friedrich & Janeba, Eckhard & Schröder, Christoph & Streif, Frank, 2016. "Fiscal rules and compliance expectations – Evidence for the German debt brake," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 142(C), pages 11-23.
    4. Áureo de Paula & Imran Rasul & Pedro CL Souza, 2018. "Recovering social networks from panel data: identification, simulations and an application," CeMMAP working papers CWP17/18, Centre for Microdata Methods and Practice, Institute for Fiscal Studies.
    5. von Schwerin, Axel & Buettner, Thiess, 2016. "Constrained Tax Competition – Empirical Effects of the Minimum Tax Rate on the Tax Rate Distribution," Annual Conference 2016 (Augsburg): Demographic Change 145642, Verein für Socialpolitik / German Economic Association.
    6. Gaigné, Carl & Riou, Stéphane & Thisse, Jacques-François, 2016. "How to make the metropolitan area work? Neither big government, nor laissez-faire," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 134(C), pages 100-113.
    7. Haraguchi Junichi & Ogawa Hikaru, 2018. "Leadership in Tax Competition with Fiscal Equalization Transfers," The B.E. Journal of Economic Analysis & Policy, De Gruyter, vol. 18(3), pages 1-15, July.
    8. Mariana Lopes da Fonseca, 2017. "Tax Mimicking in Local Business Taxation: Quasi-experimental Evidence from Portugal," CESifo Working Paper Series 6647, CESifo Group Munich.
    9. Pedro Naso & Yi Huang Author Name: Tim Swanson, 2017. "The Porter Hypothesis Goes to China: Spatial Development, Environmental Regulation and Productivity," CIES Research Paper series 53-2017, Centre for International Environmental Studies, The Graduate Institute.
    10. Brülhart, Marius & Bucovetsky, Sam & Schmidheiny, Kurt, 2015. "Taxes in Cities," Handbook of Regional and Urban Economics, Elsevier.
    11. Pete Maniloff & Dale T. Manning, 2015. "Division of Nonrenewable Resource Rents: A Model of Asymmetric Nash Competition with State Control of Heterogeneous Resources," Working Papers 2015-08, Colorado School of Mines, Division of Economics and Business.
    12. 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 - Zentrum für Europäische Wirtschaftsforschung / Center for European Economic Research.
    13. Gaigné, Carl & Riou, Stéphane & Thisse, Jacques-François, 2016. "How to make the metropolitan area work? Neither big government, nor laissez-faire," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 134(C), pages 100-113.
    14. Furdas, Marina & Homolkova, Katerina & Kis-Katos, Krisztina, 2015. "Local Political Budget Cycles in a Federation: Evidence from West German Cities," IZA Discussion Papers 8798, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    15. Pedro Naso Author name: Tim Swanson, 2017. "How Does Environmental Regulation Shape Economic Development? A Tax Competition Model of China," CIES Research Paper series 54-2017, Centre for International Environmental Studies, The Graduate Institute.
    16. Björn Kauder, 2015. "Spatial Administrative Structure And Intra-Metropolitan 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. Reiter, Franz, 2015. "Who Competes with Whom? The Structure of International Tax Competition," Annual Conference 2015 (Muenster): Economic Development - Theory and Policy 113189, Verein für Socialpolitik / German Economic Association.
    19. David R. Agrawal, 2015. "The Tax Gradient: Spatial Aspects of Fiscal Competition," American Economic Journal: Economic Policy, American Economic Association, vol. 7(2), pages 1-29, May.
    20. Streif, Frank & Heinemann, Friedrich & Janeba, Eckhard & Schröder, Christoph, 2013. "Will the German Debt Brake Succeed? Survey Evidence from State Politicians," Annual Conference 2013 (Duesseldorf): Competition Policy and Regulation in a Global Economic Order 80044, Verein für Socialpolitik / German Economic Association.
    21. Lund, Diderik, 2018. "Increasing resource rent taxation when the corporate income tax is reduced?," Memorandum 3/2018, Oslo University, Department of Economics.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Local tax competition; Survey; Intensity of competition; Asymmetric tax competition;

    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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