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Ranking state fiscal structures using theory and evidence

Author

Listed:
  • Neil Bania

    (Professor, Department of Planning, Public Policy, and Management, University of Oregon)

  • Joe A. Stone

    (Professor of Economics, Department of Economics, University of Oregon)

Abstract

This paper offers unique rankings of the extent to which fiscal structures of U.S. states contribute to economic growth. The rankings are novel in two key respects: They are well grounded in established growth theory, in which the effect of taxes depends both on the level of taxes and on the composition of expenditures; and they are derived from actual estimates of the link between fiscal structures and economic growth. Estimates for the latter yield a growth hill, in which the incremental effect of taxes spent on productive services and infrastructure initially rises, reaches a peak, and then declines. Rankings derived from these estimates differ sharply from typical rankings based on levels of taxation alone. Two hypothetical policy experiments highlight both the growth-hill effects of tax investments in productive services and infrastructure and the short- and long-term tradeoffs in attempting to fund strong social services. © 2008 by the Association for Public Policy Analysis and Management.

Suggested Citation

  • Neil Bania & Joe A. Stone, 2008. "Ranking state fiscal structures using theory and evidence," Journal of Policy Analysis and Management, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 27(4), pages 751-770.
  • Handle: RePEc:wly:jpamgt:v:27:y:2008:i:4:p:751-770
    DOI: 10.1002/pam.20376
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    File URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10.1002/pam.20376
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Randall G. Holcombe & Donald J. Lacombe, 2004. "The Effect of State Income Taxation on Per Capita Income Growth," Public Finance Review, , vol. 32(3), pages 292-312, May.
    2. Robert J. Barro & Xavier Sala-I-Martin, 1992. "Public Finance in Models of Economic Growth," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 59(4), pages 645-661.
    3. Mark, Stephen T. & McGuire, Therese J. & Papke, Leslie E., 2000. "The Influence of Taxes on Employment and Population Growth: Evidence from the Washington, D.C. Metropolitan Area," National Tax Journal, National Tax Association, vol. 53(n. 1), pages 105-24, March.
    4. Manuel Arellano & Stephen Bond, 1991. "Some Tests of Specification for Panel Data: Monte Carlo Evidence and an Application to Employment Equations," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 58(2), pages 277-297.
    5. Alfredo M. Pereira, 2000. "Is All Public Capital Created Equal?," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 82(3), pages 513-518, August.
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    Cited by:

    1. John D. Merrifield & Barry W. Poulson, 2016. "A Dynamic Scoring Simulation Analysis of How TEL Design Choices Impact Government Expansion," Journal of Economic and Financial Studies (JEFS), LAR Center Press, vol. 4(2), pages 60-68, April.
    2. John Merrifield & Barry W. Poulson, 2014. "State Fiscal Policies for Budget Stabilization and Economic Growth: A Dynamic Scoring Analysis," Cato Journal, Cato Journal, Cato Institute, vol. 34(1), pages 47-81, Winter.
    3. Chiara Del Bo & Massimo Florio & Silvia Vignetti & Emanuela Sirtori, 2011. "Additionality and regional development: are EU Structural Funds complements or substitutes of national Public Finance?," Working Papers 201101, CSIL Centre for Industrial Studies.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • H2 - Public Economics - - Taxation, Subsidies, and Revenue
    • H4 - Public Economics - - Publicly Provided Goods
    • H7 - Public Economics - - State and Local Government; Intergovernmental Relations
    • E62 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Macroeconomic Policy, Macroeconomic Aspects of Public Finance, and General Outlook - - - Fiscal Policy

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