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Consumption tax competition among governments: Evidence from the United States

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  • Jan Jacobs
  • Jenny Ligthart

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  • Hendrik Vrijburg

Abstract

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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Suggested Citation

  • Jan Jacobs & Jenny Ligthart & Hendrik Vrijburg, 2010. "Consumption tax competition among governments: Evidence from the United States," International Tax and Public Finance, Springer;International Institute of Public Finance, vol. 17(3), pages 271-294, June.
  • Handle: RePEc:kap:itaxpf:v:17:y:2010:i:3:p:271-294 DOI: 10.1007/s10797-009-9118-z
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    Cited by:

    1. Agrawal, David R., 2016. "Local fiscal competition: An application to sales taxation with multiple federations," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 91(C), pages 122-138.
    2. Robert S. Chirinko & Daniel J. Wilson, 2007. "Tax competition among U.S. states: racing to the bottom or riding on a seesaw?," Working Paper Series 2008-03, Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco.
    3. Anping Chen & Marlon Boarnet & Mark Partridge & Yongzheng Liu & Jorge Martinez-Vazquez, 2014. "Interjurisdictional Tax Competition In China," Journal of Regional Science, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 54(4), pages 606-628, September.
    4. Sebastian Kessing & Bernhard Koldert, 2013. "Cross-border shopping and the Atkinson–Stiglitz theorem," International Tax and Public Finance, Springer;International Institute of Public Finance, vol. 20(4), pages 618-630, August.
    5. Jacobs, J.P.A.M. & Ligthart, J.E. & Vrijburg, H., 2009. "Dynamic Panel Data Models Featuring Endogenous Interaction and Spatially Correlated Errors," Discussion Paper 2009-92, Tilburg University, Center for Economic Research.
    6. Agrawal, David R., 2014. "LOST in America: Evidence on local sales taxes from national panel data," Regional Science and Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 49(C), pages 147-163.
    7. Yongzheng Liu, 2016. "Do government preferences matter for tax competition?," International Tax and Public Finance, Springer;International Institute of Public Finance, vol. 23(2), pages 343-367, April.
    8. MORICONI, Simone & PICARD , Pierre M. & ZANAJ, Skerdilajda, 2012. "Commodity taxation and regulatory competition," CORE Discussion Papers 2012057, Université catholique de Louvain, Center for Operations Research and Econometrics (CORE).
    9. Saxon, Nicholas & Tosun, Mehmet S. & Yang, Jingjing, 2015. "State and Local Sales Taxes and Business Activity in the United States," IZA Discussion Papers 9413, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    10. László Paizs, 2013. "Asymmetric competition in the setting of diesel excise taxes in EU countries," Acta Oeconomica, Akadémiai Kiadó, Hungary, vol. 63(4), pages 423-450, December.
    11. Leonzio Rizzo & Alejandro Esteller - Moré, 2011. "US Excise Tax Horizontal Interdependence: Yardstick vs. Tax Competition," Working Papers 201116, University of Ferrara, Department of Economics.
    12. Alejandro Esteller-Moré & Leonzio Rizzo, 2010. "Politics or mobility? Evidence from us excise taxation," Working Papers 2010/3, Institut d'Economia de Barcelona (IEB).
    13. Yongzheng Liu, 2014. "Does competition for capital discipline governments? The role of fiscal equalization," International Tax and Public Finance, Springer;International Institute of Public Finance, vol. 21(3), pages 345-374, June.
    14. Alejandro Esteller-Moré & Leonzio Rizzo, 2014. "US excise tax horizontal interdependence: yardstick versus tax competition," The Annals of Regional Science, Springer;Western Regional Science Association, vol. 52(3), pages 711-737, May.
    15. Hendrik Vrijburg & Ruud Mooij, 2016. "Tax rates as strategic substitutes," International Tax and Public Finance, Springer;International Institute of Public Finance, vol. 23(1), pages 2-24, February.
    16. Michael Keen & Kai A. Konrad, 2012. "International Tax Competition and Coordination," Working Papers international_tax_competi, Max Planck Institute for Tax Law and Public Finance.
    17. David R. Agrawal, 2015. "The Tax Gradient: Spatial Aspects of Fiscal Competition," American Economic Journal: Economic Policy, American Economic Association, vol. 7(2), pages 1-29, May.
    18. repec:eee:pubeco:v:155:y:2017:i:c:p:147-163 is not listed on IDEAS
    19. David Bartolini & Raffaella Santolini, 2012. "Political yardstick competition among Italian municipalities on spending decisions," The Annals of Regional Science, Springer;Western Regional Science Association, vol. 49(1), pages 213-235, August.
    20. Paizs, László, 2009. "Gázolaj-jövedékiadó verseny az Európai Unióban
      [Fiscal competition on the market for diesel fuel in the European Union]
      ," Közgazdasági Szemle (Economic Review - monthly of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences), Közgazdasági Szemle Alapítvány (Economic Review Foundation), vol. 0(3), pages 216-238.
    21. Enlinson Mattos & Ricardo Politi, 2014. "Pro-poor tax policy and yardstick competition: a spatial investigation for VAT relief on food in Brazil," The Annals of Regional Science, Springer;Western Regional Science Association, vol. 52(1), pages 279-307, January.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Tax competition; Tax reaction function; Consumption taxation; Spatial lag; H73; H87; H20; H70; C33;

    JEL classification:

    • H73 - Public Economics - - State and Local Government; Intergovernmental Relations - - - Interjurisdictional Differentials and Their Effects
    • H87 - Public Economics - - Miscellaneous Issues - - - International Fiscal Issues; International Public Goods
    • H20 - Public Economics - - Taxation, Subsidies, and Revenue - - - General
    • H70 - Public Economics - - State and Local Government; Intergovernmental Relations - - - General
    • C33 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Multiple or Simultaneous Equation Models; Multiple Variables - - - Models with Panel Data; Spatio-temporal Models

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