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Tax Mimicking and Yardstick Competition Among Local Governments in the Netherlands

  • Maarten Allers

    ()

  • J. Elhorst

    ()

This paper provides a spatial-econometric analysis of the setting of property tax rates by Dutch municipalities. We find evidence of tax mimicking: a ten percent higher property tax rate in neighboring municipalities leads to a 3.5 percent higher tax rate. Mimicking is less pronounced in municipalities governed by coalitions backed by a large majority. This points to yardstick competition as the most likely source of tax mimicking. We also find that Dutch voters seem to be able to penalize incumbents for anticipated tax rate differentials, but not for unanticipated tax rate differentials. This limits the effectiveness of yardstick competition as a mechanism to reduce political rent-seeking. Copyright Springer Science + Business Media, Inc. 2005

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File URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10.1007/s10797-005-1500-x
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Article provided by Springer in its journal International Tax and Public Finance.

Volume (Year): 12 (2005)
Issue (Month): 4 (August)
Pages: 493-513

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Handle: RePEc:kap:itaxpf:v:12:y:2005:i:4:p:493-513
Contact details of provider: Web page: http://www.springerlink.com/link.asp?id=102915

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  1. Allers, Maarten & de Haan, Jakob & Sterks, Cees, 2001. " Partisan Influence on the Local Tax Burden in the Netherlands," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 106(3-4), pages 351-63, March.
  2. Rork, Jonathan C., 2003. "Coveting Thy Neighbors' Taxation," National Tax Journal, National Tax Association, vol. 56(4), pages 775-87, December.
  3. Ladd, Helen F. & Bradbury, Katharine L., 1988. "City Taxes and Property Tax Bases," National Tax Journal, National Tax Association, vol. 41(4), pages 503-23, December.
  4. Jeremy Edwards & Michael Keen, 1994. "Tax competition and Leviathon," IFS Working Papers W94/07, Institute for Fiscal Studies.
  5. Federico Revelli, 2002. "Testing the taxmimicking versus expenditure spill-over hypotheses using English data," Applied Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 34(14), pages 1723-1731.
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  7. Heyndels, Bruno & Vuchelen, Jef, 1998. "Tax Mimicking Among Belgian Municipalities," National Tax Journal, National Tax Association, vol. 51(n. 1), pages 89-101, March.
  8. Besley, Timothy & Smart, Michael, 2007. "Fiscal restraints and voter welfare," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 91(3-4), pages 755-773, April.
  9. Thiess Buettner, 1999. "Determinants of Tax Rates in Local Capital Income Taxation: A Theoretical Model and Evidence from Germany," CESifo Working Paper Series 194, CESifo Group Munich.
  10. SALMON, Pierre, 1987. "Decentralization as an incentive scheme," Institut des Mathématiques Economiques – Document de travail de l’I.M.E. (1974-1993) 98, Institut des Mathématiques Economiques. LATEC, Laboratoire d'Analyse et des Techniques EConomiques, CNRS, Université de Bourgogne.
  11. Borge, Lars-Erik, 1995. " Economic and Political Determinants of Fee Income in Norwegian Local Governments," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 83(3-4), pages 353-73, June.
  12. Wilson, John Douglas, 1999. "Theories of Tax Competition," National Tax Journal, National Tax Association, vol. 52(n. 2), pages 269-304, June.
  13. repec:cup:cbooks:9780521021807 is not listed on IDEAS
  14. Charles M. Tiebout, 1956. "A Pure Theory of Local Expenditures," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 64, pages 416.
  15. Federico Revelli, 2001. "Spatial patterns in local taxation: tax mimicking or error mimicking?," Applied Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 33(9), pages 1101-1107.
  16. Brueckner, Jan K. & Saavedra, Luz A., 2001. "Do Local Governments Engage in Strategic Property-Tax Competition?," National Tax Journal, National Tax Association, vol. 54(n. 2), pages 203-30, June.
  17. Craig Brett & Joris Pinkse, 2000. "The determinants of municipal tax rates in British Columbia," Canadian Journal of Economics, Canadian Economics Association, vol. 33(3), pages 695-714, August.
  18. Bordignon, Massimo & Cerniglia, Floriana & Revelli, Federico, 2003. "In search of yardstick competition: a spatial analysis of Italian municipality property tax setting," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 54(2), pages 199-217, September.
  19. Anselin, Luc & Bera, Anil K. & Florax, Raymond & Yoon, Mann J., 1996. "Simple diagnostic tests for spatial dependence," Regional Science and Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 26(1), pages 77-104, February.
  20. Büttner, Thiess, 1998. "Local Business Taxation and Competition for Capital: The Choice of the Tax Rate," ZEW Discussion Papers 98-43, ZEW - Zentrum für Europäische Wirtschaftsforschung / Center for European Economic Research.
  21. Muhammed N. Islam & Saud A. Choudhury, 1990. "Testing the Exogeneity of Grants to Local Governments," Canadian Journal of Economics, Canadian Economics Association, vol. 23(3), pages 676-92, August.
  22. Bordignon, Massimo & Cerniglia, Floriana & Revelli, Federico, 2004. "Yardstick competition in intergovernmental relationships: theory and empirical predictions," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 83(3), pages 325-333, June.
  23. Fredriksson, Per G. & List, John A. & Millimet, Daniel L., 2004. "Chasing the smokestack: strategic policymaking with multiple instruments," Regional Science and Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 34(4), pages 387-410, July.
  24. Katharine L. Bradbury & Helen F. Ladd, 1987. "City Taxes and Property Tax Bases," NBER Working Papers 2197, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  25. Wrede, Matthias, 2001. "Yardstick competition to tame the Leviathan," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 17(4), pages 705-721, November.
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