IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/
MyIDEAS: Login to save this article or follow this journal

Evaluating the efficiency and equity of federal fiscal equalization

  • Albouy, David

Theoretically, federal transfers that make household location decisions efficient should ignore local cost differences, subsidize positive externalities, and offset differences in federal-tax payments and local taxes levied on non-residents, but not local tax revenues from residents. Transfers that redistribute resources equitably across regions will likely target areas with individuals of low earnings potential or low real incomes. Applying these criteria empirically, Canadian equalization policy appears neither efficient nor equitable, but exacerbates pre-existing inefficiencies and underfunds minorities. Locational inefficiencies cost Canada 0.41% of income annually and cause over-funded provinces to have populations of 30% beyond their efficient long-run levels.

If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.

File URL: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0047272712000643
Download Restriction: Full text for ScienceDirect subscribers only

As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to look for a different version under "Related research" (further below) or search for a different version of it.

Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Journal of Public Economics.

Volume (Year): 96 (2012)
Issue (Month): 9-10 ()
Pages: 824-839

as
in new window

Handle: RePEc:eee:pubeco:v:96:y:2012:i:9:p:824-839
Contact details of provider: Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/inca/505578

References listed on IDEAS
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:

as in new window
  1. Dan Usher, 2007. "The Reform of Equalization Payments," Working Papers 1121, Queen's University, Department of Economics.
  2. Thomas J. Courchene & David A. Beavis, 1973. "Federal-Provincial Tax Equalization: An Evaluation," Canadian Journal of Economics, Canadian Economics Association, vol. 6(4), pages 483-502, November.
  3. Richard A. Musgrave, 1997. "Devolution, Grants, and Fiscal Competition," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 11(4), pages 65-72, Fall.
  4. Robin Boadway & Masayoshi Hayashi, 2004. "An Evaluation of the Stabilization Properties of Equalization in Canada," Canadian Public Policy, University of Toronto Press, vol. 30(1), pages 91-109, March.
  5. Wildasin, David E., 1980. "Locational efficiency in a federal system," Regional Science and Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 10(4), pages 453-471, November.
  6. Timothy J. Bartik, 1991. "Who Benefits from State and Local Economic Development Policies?," Books from Upjohn Press, W.E. Upjohn Institute for Employment Research, number wbsle, March.
  7. A. D. Scott, 1952. "Federal Grants and Resource Allocation," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 60, pages 534.
  8. Bradford, David F & Oates, Wallace E, 1971. "Towards a Predictive Theory of Intergovernmental Grants," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 61(2), pages 440-48, May.
  9. Matias Busso & Jesse Gregory & Patrick Kline, 2011. "Assessing the Incidence and Efficiency of a Prominent Place Based Policy," Working Papers 11-07, Center for Economic Studies, U.S. Census Bureau.
  10. William G. Watson, 1986. "An Estimate of the Welfare Gain from Fiscal Equalization," Canadian Journal of Economics, Canadian Economics Association, vol. 19(2), pages 298-308, May.
  11. Mieszkowski, Peter & Zodrow, George R, 1989. "Taxation and the Tiebout Model: The Differential Effects of Head Taxes, Taxes on Land Rents, and Property Taxes," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 27(3), pages 1098-1146, September.
  12. David Albouy & Fernando Leibovici & Casey Warman, 2012. "Quality of Life, Firm Productivity, and the Value of Amenities across Canadian Cities," Working Papers 1287, Queen's University, Department of Economics.
  13. Shaw, R Paul, 1986. "Fiscal versus Traditional Market Variables in Canadian Migration," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 94(3), pages 648-66, June.
  14. Mieszkowski, Peter & Musgrave, Richard A., 1999. "Federalism, Grants, and Fiscal Equalization," National Tax Journal, National Tax Association, vol. 52(n. 2), pages 239-60, June.
  15. Robin W. Boadway & Frank R. Flatters, 1982. "Efficiency and Equalization Payments in a Federal System of Government: A Synthesis and Extension of Recent Results," Canadian Journal of Economics, Canadian Economics Association, vol. 15(4), pages 613-33, November.
  16. Buchanan, James M. & Goetz, Charles J., 1972. "Efficiency limits of fiscal mobility: An assessment of the tiebout model," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 1(1), pages 25-43, April.
  17. Bradford, David F & Oates, Wallace E, 1971. "An Analysis of Revenue Sharing in a New Approach to Collective Fiscal Decisions," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 85(3), pages 416-39, August.
  18. James M. Buchanan, 1952. "Federal Grants and Resource Allocation," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 60, pages 208.
  19. H. P. Jenkins, 1951. "Fiscal Equity in the Unequal Treatment of Unequals: A Suggested Test," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 59, pages 353.
  20. Oates, Wallace E., 1988. "On the measurement of congestion in the provision of local public goods," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 24(1), pages 85-94, July.
  21. Bergstrom, Theodore C & Goodman, Robert P, 1973. "Private Demands for Public Goods," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 63(3), pages 280-96, June.
  22. Michael Smart, 1998. "Taxation and Deadweight Loss in a System of Intergovernmental Transfers," Canadian Journal of Economics, Canadian Economics Association, vol. 31(1), pages 189-206, February.
  23. Glaeser, E. L., 1998. "Should transfer payments be indexed to local price levels?," Regional Science and Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 28(1), pages 1-20, January.
  24. Weingast, Barry R & Shepsle, Kenneth A & Johnsen, Christopher, 1981. "The Political Economy of Benefits and Costs: A Neoclassical Approach to Distributive Politics," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 89(4), pages 642-64, August.
  25. Myers, Gordon M., 1990. "Optimality, free mobility, and the regional authority in a federation," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 43(1), pages 107-121, October.
  26. Richard A. Musgrave, 1961. "Approaches to a Fiscal Theory of Political Federalism," NBER Chapters, in: Public Finances: Needs, Sources, and Utilization, pages 97-134 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  27. L. S. Wilson, 2003. "Equalization, Efficiency and Migration: Watson Revisited," Canadian Public Policy, University of Toronto Press, vol. 29(4), pages 385-395, December.
  28. Tobin, James, 1970. "On Limiting the Domain of Inequality," Journal of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 13(2), pages 263-77, October.
  29. Edward L. Glaeser & Joshua D. Gottlieb, 2008. "The Economics of Place-Making Policies," NBER Working Papers 14373, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  30. Charles M. Tiebout, 1956. "A Pure Theory of Local Expenditures," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 64, pages 416.
  31. James M. Buchanan, 1949. "The Pure Theory of Government Finance: A Suggested Approach," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 57, pages 496.
  32. James M. Buchanan, 1952. "Federal Grants and Resource Allocation: A Reply," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 60, pages 536.
  33. Caroline M. Hoxby, 2001. "All School Finance Equalizations Are Not Created Equal," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 116(4), pages 1189-1231, November.
  34. Oakland, William H., 1994. "Fiscal Equalization: An Empty Box?," National Tax Journal, National Tax Association, vol. 47(1), pages 199-209, March.
  35. Flatters, Frank & Henderson, Vernon & Mieszkowski, Peter, 1974. "Public goods, efficiency, and regional fiscal equalization," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 3(2), pages 99-112, May.
  36. David Albouy, 2009. "What Are Cities Worth? Land Rents, Local Productivity, and the Capitalization of Amenity Values," NBER Working Papers 14981, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  37. Reschovsky, Andrew, 1994. "Fiscal Equalization and School Finance," National Tax Journal, National Tax Association, vol. 47(1), pages 185-97, March.
  38. Downes, Thomas A., 1992. "Evaluating the Impact of School Finance Reform on the Provision of Public Education: The California Case," National Tax Journal, National Tax Association, vol. 45(4), pages 405-19, December.
  39. Usher, Dan, 1977. "Public Property and the Effects of Migration upon Other Residents of the Migrants' Countries of Origin and Destination," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 85(5), pages 1001-20, October.
  40. David Albouy, 2009. "The Unequal Geographic Burden of Federal Taxation," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 117(4), pages 635-667, 08.
  41. Roback, Jennifer, 1982. "Wages, Rents, and the Quality of Life," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 90(6), pages 1257-78, December.
  42. Courant, Paul N., 1994. "How Would You Know a Good Economic Policy If You Tripped Over One? Hint: Don't Just Count Jobs," National Tax Journal, National Tax Association, vol. 47(4), pages 863-81, December.
  43. James M. Buchanan, 1951. "Fiscal Equity in the Unequal Treatment of Unequals: A Rejoinder," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 59, pages 358.
  44. Oded Hochman & David Pines, 1993. "Federal Income Tax and Its Effects On Inter- and Intracity Resource Allocation," Public Finance Review, , vol. 21(3), pages 276-304, July.
  45. Thomas J. Courchene, 1981. "A Market Perspective on Regional Disparities," Canadian Public Policy, University of Toronto Press, vol. 7(4), pages 506-518, Autumn.
  46. Yinger, John, 1986. "On fiscal disparities across cities," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 19(3), pages 316-337, May.
  47. James M. Buchanan & Richard E. Wagner, 1970. "An Efficiency Basis for Federal Fiscal Equalization," NBER Chapters, in: The Analysis of Public Output, pages 139-162 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  48. Ladd, Helen F. & Yinger, John, 1994. "The Case for Equalizing Aid," National Tax Journal, National Tax Association, vol. 47(1), pages 211-24, March.
  49. Robin Boadway & Masayoshi Hayashi, 2002. "An Evaluation of the Risk-Sharing Function of Equalization in Canada," Working Papers 1006, Queen's University, Department of Economics.
  50. Robert P. Inman & Daniel L. Rubinfeld, 1997. "Rethinking Federalism," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 11(4), pages 43-64, Fall.
Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

This item is not listed on Wikipedia, on a reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.

When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:eee:pubeco:v:96:y:2012:i:9:p:824-839. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Zhang, Lei)

If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.

If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.

If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

This information is provided to you by IDEAS at the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis using RePEc data.