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Local government responsiveness to federal transfers: theory and evidence

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  • Leonzio Rizzo

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Abstract

Federal transfers can depend on local fiscal capacity which is measured by local tax bases. The aim of this paper is to understand to what extent and how these transfers affect local tax decisions. We develop a model with two provinces producing one mobile good. The good is taxed according to the destination principle. Final consumers decide to buy the good from the province where it is cheaper. The two provinces engage in tax competition. The introduction of scale economies into the shopping technology generates nonlinear tax reaction functions which make it possible to test the effect of a transfer equalizing local tax bases on tax competition in two complementary tax regimes. Used for this purpose are cigarette and gasoline tax data from Canada. In the case of cigarette tax it is found that nonlinearity in tax competition is almost entirely offset when equalization holds: tax competition in the two tax regimes become closer. The shopping technology for gasoline gives less scope for scale economies, so that equalization does not affect reaction functions.
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Suggested Citation

  • Leonzio Rizzo, 2008. "Local government responsiveness to federal transfers: theory and evidence," International Tax and Public Finance, Springer;International Institute of Public Finance, vol. 15(3), pages 316-337, June.
  • Handle: RePEc:kap:itaxpf:v:15:y:2008:i:3:p:316-337
    DOI: 10.1007/s10797-007-9025-0
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Sam Bucovetsky & Michael Smart, 2006. "The Efficiency Consequences of Local Revenue Equalization: Tax Competition and Tax Distortions," Journal of Public Economic Theory, Association for Public Economic Theory, vol. 8(1), pages 119-144, January.
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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Raúl A. Ponce Rodríguez & Ikuho Kochi & Luis E. Gutiérrez Casas, 2015. "The structure of political power and redistribution in economies with multiple governments," Estudios Económicos, El Colegio de México, Centro de Estudios Económicos, vol. 30(2), pages 269-303.
    2. Christos Kotsogiannis, 2010. "Federal tax competition and the efficiency consequences for local taxation of revenue equalization," International Tax and Public Finance, Springer;International Institute of Public Finance, vol. 17(1), pages 1-14, February.
    3. Esteller-Moré, Alejandro & Rizzo, Leonzio, 2011. "(Uncontrolled) Aggregate Shocks or Vertical Tax Interdependence? Evidence From Gasoline and Cigarettes," National Tax Journal, National Tax Association;National Tax Journal, vol. 64(2), pages 353-379, June.
    4. repec:bla:germec:v:18:y:2017:i:3:p:377-409 is not listed on IDEAS
    5. Leonzio Rizzo, 2006. "Le inefficienze della competizione fiscale: una rassegna dei principali modelli teorici," Economia politica, Società editrice il Mulino, issue 1, pages 89-120.
    6. Karkalakos, Sotiris & Makris, Miltiadis, 2008. "Capital Tax Competition in the European Union: Theory and Evidence from Two Natural Experiments," MPRA Paper 21437, University Library of Munich, Germany, revised 2010.
    7. repec:kap:itaxpf:v:24:y:2017:i:2:d:10.1007_s10797-016-9415-2 is not listed on IDEAS
    8. Alejandro Esteller-Moré & Umberto Galmarini & Leonzio Rizzo, 2015. "Fiscal equalization under political pressures," Working Papers 2015/21, Institut d'Economia de Barcelona (IEB).

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Fiscal competition; Equalization; Transfer; Externality; Tax-rate; H21; H23;

    JEL classification:

    • H70 - Public Economics - - State and Local Government; Intergovernmental Relations - - - General
    • H7 - Public Economics - - State and Local Government; Intergovernmental Relations
    • H71 - Public Economics - - State and Local Government; Intergovernmental Relations - - - State and Local Taxation, Subsidies, and Revenue
    • H23 - Public Economics - - Taxation, Subsidies, and Revenue - - - Externalities; Redistributive Effects; Environmental Taxes and Subsidies
    • H2 - Public Economics - - Taxation, Subsidies, and Revenue
    • H77 - Public Economics - - State and Local Government; Intergovernmental Relations - - - Intergovernmental Relations; Federalism
    • H20 - Public Economics - - Taxation, Subsidies, and Revenue - - - General

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