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Tax Competition, Income Differentials and Local Public Services

  • Eric Smith

    ()

  • Tracy Webb

    ()

This paper examines strategic tax setting between fiscal authorities in the presence of mobile workers who locate across these jurisdictions in response to differing tax structures and congestable local public amenities. We find that the nature of the tax setting outcomes depend crucially on the proximity between cities. For “distant” cities with the same size populations, the pressure on tax rates of a more mobile workforce depends on the whether mobile workers are net beneficiaries or net contributors. If mobile workers are either high or low income earners, cities lower tax rates. If mobile workers are middle income earners, cities raise tax rates. For “close” or neighbouring cities, workers locate in one of the cities and tax rates and local public amenities are dispersed. Copyright Kluwer Academic Publishers 2001

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File URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10.1023/A:1012887009256
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Article provided by Springer in its journal International Tax and Public Finance.

Volume (Year): 8 (2001)
Issue (Month): 5 (November)
Pages: 675-691

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Handle: RePEc:kap:itaxpf:v:8:y:2001:i:5:p:675-691
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  1. Joseph Gyourko & Joseph S. Tracy, 1986. "The Importance of Local Fiscal Conditions in Analyzing Local Labor Markets," NBER Working Papers 2040, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. Ravi Kanbur & Michael Keen, 1991. "Jeux Sans Frontieres: Tax Competition and Tax Coordination when Countries Differ in Size," Working Papers 819, Queen's University, Department of Economics.
  3. Wellisch, Dietmar & Wildasin, David E., 1996. "Decentralized income redistribution and immigration," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 40(1), pages 187-217, January.
  4. de Crombrugghe, Alain & Tulkens, Henry, 1990. "On Pareto improving commodity tax changes under fiscal competition," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 41(3), pages 335-350, April.
  5. Flatters, Frank & Henderson, Vernon & Mieszkowski, Peter, 1974. "Public goods, efficiency, and regional fiscal equalization," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 3(2), pages 99-112, May.
  6. Rubinfeld, Daniel L., 1987. "The economics of the local public sector," Handbook of Public Economics, in: A. J. Auerbach & M. Feldstein (ed.), Handbook of Public Economics, edition 1, volume 2, chapter 11, pages 571-645 Elsevier.
  7. David E. Wildasin, 1993. "State income taxation with mobile labor," Journal of Policy Analysis and Management, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 12(1), pages 51-75.
  8. Boadway, Robin, 1982. "On the Method of Taxation and the Provision of Local Public Goods: Comment," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 72(4), pages 846-51, September.
  9. 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.
  10. Robin W. Boadway & Frank R. Flatters, 1982. "Efficiency and Equalization Payments in a Federal System of Government: A Synthesis and Extension of Recent Results," Canadian Journal of Economics, Canadian Economics Association, vol. 15(4), pages 613-33, November.
  11. Wildasin, David E, 1991. "Income Redistribution in a Common Labor Market," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 81(4), pages 757-74, September.
  12. Wallace E. Oates, 1999. "An Essay on Fiscal Federalism," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 37(3), pages 1120-1149, September.
  13. Starrett, David A, 1980. "On the Method of Taxation and the Provision of Local Public Goods," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 70(3), pages 380-92, June.
  14. Kathleen M. Day, 1992. "Interprovincial Migration and Local Public Goods," Canadian Journal of Economics, Canadian Economics Association, vol. 25(1), pages 123-44, February.
  15. Kirchgassner, Gebhard & Pommerehne, Werner W., 1996. "Tax harmonization and tax competition in the European Union: Lessons from Switzerland," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 60(3), pages 351-371, June.
  16. Charles M. Tiebout, 1956. "A Pure Theory of Local Expenditures," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 64, pages 416.
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