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How Fiscal Decentralization Flattens Progressive Taxes

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  • Roland Hodler
  • Kurt Schmidheiny

Abstract

We study the tension between fiscal decentralization and progressive taxation. We present a multi-community model in which households differ in incomes and housing preferences and in which the local income tax rate is a function of an exogenous progressive tax schedule and an endogenous local tax multiplier. The progression of the tax schedule induces a self-sorting process that results in substantial though imperfect income sorting. Considering this income sorting, the resulting tax schedule is less progressive than the exogenous tax schedule. Empirical evidence from the largest Swiss metropolitan area supports the predictions of our model.

Suggested Citation

  • Roland Hodler & Kurt Schmidheiny, 2006. "How Fiscal Decentralization Flattens Progressive Taxes," FinanzArchiv: Public Finance Analysis, Mohr Siebeck, Tübingen, vol. 62(2), pages 281-304, June.
  • Handle: RePEc:mhr:finarc:urn:sici:0015-2218(200606)62:2_281:hfdfpt_2.0.tx_2-m
    DOI: 10.1628/001522106X120695
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Gilbert Metcalf & Jongsang Park, 2007. "A comment on the role of prices for excludable public goods," International Tax and Public Finance, Springer;International Institute of Public Finance, vol. 14(6), pages 685-698, December.
    2. Brülhart, Marius & Bucovetsky, Sam & Schmidheiny, Kurt, 2015. "Taxes in Cities," Handbook of Regional and Urban Economics, Elsevier.
    3. repec:wfo:wstudy:27451 is not listed on IDEAS
    4. Schaltegger, Christoph A. & Somogyi, Frank & Sturm, Jan-Egbert, 2011. "Tax competition and income sorting: Evidence from the Zurich metropolitan area," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 27(3), pages 455-470, September.
    5. Schmidheiny, Kurt, 2006. "Income segregation and local progressive taxation: Empirical evidence from Switzerland," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 90(3), pages 429-458, February.
    6. Kai Konrad & Stergios Skaperdas, 2012. "The market for protection and the origin of the state," Economic Theory, Springer;Society for the Advancement of Economic Theory (SAET), vol. 50(2), pages 417-443, June.
    7. repec:jns:jbstat:v:237:y:2017:i:3:p:225-273:n:5 is not listed on IDEAS
    8. Ioannides, Yannis M. & Soetevent, Adriaan R., 2007. "Social networking and individual outcomes beyond the mean field case," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 64(3-4), pages 369-390.
    9. Frey, Christian & Schaltegger, Christoph A., 2016. "Progressive taxes and top income shares: A historical perspective on pre- and post-tax income concentration in Switzerland," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 148(C), pages 5-9.
    10. Stossberg Sibylle & Blöchliger Hansjörg, 2017. "Fiscal Decentralisation and Income Inequality: Empirical Evidence from OECD Countries," Journal of Economics and Statistics (Jahrbuecher fuer Nationaloekonomie und Statistik), De Gruyter, vol. 237(3), pages 225-273, June.
    11. Christoph Basten & Maximilian von Ehrlich & Andrea Lassmann, 2014. "Income Taxes, Sorting, and the Costs of Housing," KOF Working papers 14-362, KOF Swiss Economic Institute, ETH Zurich.
    12. Darlene Chisholm & Margaret McMillan & George Norman, 2010. "Product differentiation and film-programming choice: do first-run movie theatres show the same films?," Journal of Cultural Economics, Springer;The Association for Cultural Economics International, vol. 34(2), pages 131-145, May.
    13. Roller, Marcus & Schmidheiny, Kurt, 2016. "Effective Tax Rates and Effective Progressivity in a Fiscally Decentralized Country," CEPR Discussion Papers 11152, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    14. repec:wly:econjl:v::y:2017:i:601:p:653-687 is not listed on IDEAS
    15. Sergii Slukhai, 2009. "Inter-Location Small Business Tax Rate Variation in Ukraine: What Is Behind It?," Financial Theory and Practice, Institute of Public Finance, vol. 33(1), pages 49-71.
    16. Christoph Basten & Maximilian von Ehrlich & Andrea Lassmann, 2014. "Income Taxes, Sorting, and the Costs of Housing: Evidence from Municipal Boundaries in Switzerland," CESifo Working Paper Series 4896, CESifo Group Munich.
    17. Darlene C. Chisholm & George Norman, 2006. "When to Exit a Product: Evidence from the U. S. Motion-Picture Exhibition Market," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 96(2), pages 57-61, May.
    18. Antoni Calvo-Armengol & Yannis M. Ioannides, 2005. "Social Networks in Labor Markets," Discussion Papers Series, Department of Economics, Tufts University 0517, Department of Economics, Tufts University.
    19. Marcus Roller & Kurt Schmidheiny, 2014. "Mobility and Progressive Taxation," ERSA conference papers ersa14p1354, European Regional Science Association.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Progressive Taxation; Fiscal Decentralization; Income Segregation;

    JEL classification:

    • H73 - Public Economics - - State and Local Government; Intergovernmental Relations - - - Interjurisdictional Differentials and Their Effects
    • R23 - Urban, Rural, Regional, Real Estate, and Transportation Economics - - Household Analysis - - - Regional Migration; Regional Labor Markets; Population

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