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Consumption tax competition among governments: Evidence from the United States

  • 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 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
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  1. 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.
  2. Federico Revelli, 2005. "On Spatial Public Finance Empirics," International Tax and Public Finance, Springer, vol. 12(4), pages 475-492, August.
  3. Manski, C.F., 1991. "Identification of Endogenous Social Effects: the Reflection Problem," Working papers 9127, Wisconsin Madison - Social Systems.
  4. 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.
  5. Devereux, M.P. & Lockwood, B. & Redoano, M., 2007. "Horizontal and vertical indirect tax competition: Theory and some evidence from the USA," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 91(3-4), pages 451-479, April.
  6. 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.
  7. Timothy J. Besley & Harvey S. Rosen, 1999. "Vertical Externalities in Tax Setting: Evidence from Gasoline and Cigarettes," NBER Working Papers 6517, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  8. Mintz, J. & Tulkens, H., 1984. "Commodity tax competition between member states of a federation: equilibrium and efficiency," CORE Discussion Papers 1984027, Université catholique de Louvain, Center for Operations Research and Econometrics (CORE).
  9. 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.
  10. 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.
  11. 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.
  12. 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.
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