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Vertical externalities in tax setting: evidence from gasoline and cigarettes

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  • Besley, Timothy J.
  • Rosen, Harvey S.

Abstract

A common feature of federal systems is that tax bases are joint property. Consequently, state and federal tax setting decisions are interdependent. Our aim here is to put forward a rudimentary theoretical analysis of this phenomenon, and to use the theory as a framework for econometrically estimating the magnitude of the responses. We find that when the federal government increases taxes, there is a significant positive response of state taxes. For example, a 10-cent per gallon increase in the federal tax rate on gasoline leads to a 3.5-cent increase in the state tax rate.
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Suggested Citation

  • Besley, Timothy J. & Rosen, Harvey S., 1998. "Vertical externalities in tax setting: evidence from gasoline and cigarettes," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 70(3), pages 383-398, December.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:pubeco:v:70:y:1998:i:3:p:383-398
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Douglas Holtz-Eakin, 1988. "The Line Item Veto and Public Sector Budgets: Evidence from the States," NBER Working Papers 2531, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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    JEL classification:

    • H20 - Public Economics - - Taxation, Subsidies, and Revenue - - - General
    • H77 - Public Economics - - State and Local Government; Intergovernmental Relations - - - Intergovernmental Relations; Federalism

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