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Consumption tax competition among governments: Evidence from the United States

Listed author(s):
  • Jan Jacobs
  • Jenny Ligthart

    ()

  • Hendrik Vrijburg

The paper contributes to a small but growing literature that estimates tax re- action functions of governments competing with other governments. We analyze consumption tax competition between US states, employing a panel of state-level data for 1977-2003. More specifically, we study the impact of a state's spatial characteristics|that is, its size, geographic position, and border length on the strategic interaction with its neighbors. For this purpose, we calculate for each state an average effective consumption tax rate, which covers both sales and excise taxes. In addition, we pay attention to dynamics by including lagged dependent variables in the tax reaction function. We find overwhelming evidence for strategic interaction among state governments, but only partial support for the effect of spatial character- istics on tax setting. Tax competition seems to have lessened in the 1990s compared to the early 1980s.

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File URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10.1007/s10797-009-9118-z
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Article provided by Springer & International Institute of Public Finance in its journal International Tax and Public Finance.

Volume (Year): 17 (2010)
Issue (Month): 3 (June)
Pages: 271-294

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Handle: RePEc:kap:itaxpf:v:17:y:2010:i:3:p:271-294
DOI: 10.1007/s10797-009-9118-z
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  1. Tim Besley & Harvey S. Rosen, 1997. "Vertical externalities in tax settings: evidence from gasoline and cigarettes," IFS Working Papers W97/23, Institute for Fiscal Studies.
  2. Federico Revelli, 2005. "On Spatial Public Finance Empirics," International Tax and Public Finance, Springer;International Institute of Public Finance, vol. 12(4), pages 475-492, August.
  3. Ostergaard, Charlotte & Sørensen, Bent E & Yosha, Oved, 2001. "Consumption and Aggregate Constraints: Evidence from US States and Canadian Provinces," CEPR Discussion Papers 2947, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  4. Mintz, Jack & Tulkens, Henry, 1986. "Commodity tax competition between member states of a federation: equilibrium and efficiency," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 29(2), pages 133-172, March.
  5. Nielsen, Soren Bo, 2001. " A Simple Model of Commodity Taxation and Cross-Border Shopping," Scandinavian Journal of Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 103(4), pages 599-623, December.
  6. Ohsawa, Yoshiaki, 1999. "Cross-border shopping and commodity tax competition among governments," Regional Science and Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 29(1), pages 33-51, January.
  7. Poterba, James M. & Rueben, Kim S., 2001. "Fiscal News, State Budget Rules, and Tax-Exempt Bond Yields," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 50(3), pages 537-562, November.
  8. Michiel Evers & Herman R. J. Vollebergh & Ruud A. de Mooij, 2004. "Tax Competition under Minimum Rates: The Case of European Diesel Excises," CESifo Working Paper Series 1221, CESifo Group Munich.
  9. Mendoza, Enrique G. & Razin, Assaf & Tesar, Linda L., 1994. "Effective tax rates in macroeconomics: Cross-country estimates of tax rates on factor incomes and consumption," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 34(3), pages 297-323, December.
  10. Kanbur, Ravi & Keen, Michael, 1993. "Jeux Sans Frontieres: Tax Competition and Tax Coordination When Countries Differ in Size," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 83(4), pages 877-892, September.
  11. Devereux, Michael & Lockwood, Ben & Redoano, Michela, 2004. "Horizontal And Vertical Indirect Tax Competition : Theory And Some Evidence From The Usa," The Warwick Economics Research Paper Series (TWERPS) 704, University of Warwick, Department of Economics.
  12. Kapoor, Mudit & Kelejian, Harry H. & Prucha, Ingmar R., 2007. "Panel data models with spatially correlated error components," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 140(1), pages 97-130, September.
  13. Manski, C.F., 1991. "Identification of Endogenous Social Effects: the Reflection Problem," Working papers 9127, Wisconsin Madison - Social Systems.
  14. Haufler, Andreas, 1996. "Tax Coordination with Different Preferences for Public Goods: Conflict or Harmony of Interest?," Munich Reprints in Economics 20392, University of Munich, Department of Economics.
  15. You-Qiang Wang, 1999. "Commodity Taxes under Fiscal Competition: Stackelberg Equilibrium and Optimality," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 89(4), pages 974-981, September.
  16. Reed, W. Robert, 2006. "Democrats, republicans, and taxes: Evidence that political parties matter," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 90(4-5), pages 725-750, May.
  17. Manuel Arellano & Stephen Bond, 1991. "Some Tests of Specification for Panel Data: Monte Carlo Evidence and an Application to Employment Equations," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 58(2), pages 277-297.
  18. Trandel, Gregory A., 1994. "Interstate commodity tax differentials and the distribution of residents," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 53(3), pages 435-457, March.
  19. Kelejian, Harry H & Prucha, Ingmar R, 1998. "A Generalized Spatial Two-Stage Least Squares Procedure for Estimating a Spatial Autoregressive Model with Autoregressive Disturbances," The Journal of Real Estate Finance and Economics, Springer, vol. 17(1), pages 99-121, July.
  20. Michael A. Nelson, 2002. "Using Excise Taxes to Finance State Government: Do Neighboring State Taxation Policy and Cross-Border Markets Matter?," Journal of Regional Science, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 42(4), pages 731-752.
  21. Egger, Peter & Pfaffermayr, Michael & Winner, Hannes, 2005. "An unbalanced spatial panel data approach to US state tax competition," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 88(3), pages 329-335, September.
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