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Evaluating state tax revenue variability: a portfolio approach


  • Thomas Garrett


This article develops a volatility model based on portfolio theory to examine state tax revenue variability. Unlike traditional parametric methods used to analyse state tax revenue variability, the portfolio approach allows the computation of a tax's share of total tax revenue that minimizes the overall variability in total state tax revenue given a state's portfolio of tax revenue sources. The model can thus be used to evaluate how closely a state's revenue portfolio is constructed to minimize variability in total state tax revenue. An empirical application of the model is conducted on a sample of US states. The volatility model presented here serves as a useful complement to parametric techniques that have been used to estimate tax revenue variability.

Suggested Citation

  • Thomas Garrett, 2009. "Evaluating state tax revenue variability: a portfolio approach," Applied Economics Letters, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 16(3), pages 243-246.
  • Handle: RePEc:taf:apeclt:v:16:y:2009:i:3:p:243-246 DOI: 10.1080/13504850601018403

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Timothy Besley & Anne Case, 2003. "Political Institutions and Policy Choices: Evidence from the United States," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 41(1), pages 7-73, March.
    2. Sobel, Russell S. & Holcombe, Randall G., 1996. "Measuring the Growth and Variability of Tax Bases over the Business Cycle," National Tax Journal, National Tax Association, vol. 49(4), pages 535-52, December.
    3. Sobel, Russell S. & Holcombe, Randall G., 1996. "Measuring the Growth and Variability of Tax Bases Over the Business Cycle," National Tax Journal, National Tax Association, vol. 49(4), pages 535-552, December.
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    Cited by:

    1. Joshua Hall & Antonis Koumpias, 2015. "The Volatility of School District Income Tax Revenues: Is Tax Base Diversification a Good Idea?," Working Papers 15-14, Department of Economics, West Virginia University.

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