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(Uncontrolled) Aggregate shocks or vertical tax interdependence? Evidende from gasoline and cigarettes

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  • Alejandro Esteller-More (Universitat de Barcelona)
  • Leonzio Rizzo (Universita di Ferrara)

    (Universitat de Barcelona)

Abstract

Besley and Rosen (1998) were the first authors to empirically estimate the presence of vertical tax externalities. They tested it on gasoline and tobacco unitary taxes. However, they did not take into account the difference in cost of living across states: high cost areas pay less in real terms than low cost areas, since the nominal unit tax on cigarettes and gasoline does not differ according to the state in which it is applied. Consequently, we propose that vertical tax competition can be estimated by deflating all financial variables using the House Price Index (HPI), which is disaggregated by states. This produces a federal tax variable that is expressed in real terms and shows crosssectional variation. This empirical strategy enabled us to disentangle the vertical interdependence between state and federal tax rates from aggregate shocks over time, using US data from 1975 to 2006 on gasoline and tobacco. We found significant horizontal tax competition, which was higher for cigarettes, but no vertical tax reaction. The results were robust to the period analyzed.

Suggested Citation

  • Alejandro Esteller-More (Universitat de Barcelona) & Leonzio Rizzo (Universita di Ferrara), 2009. "(Uncontrolled) Aggregate shocks or vertical tax interdependence? Evidende from gasoline and cigarettes," Working Papers in Economics 233, Universitat de Barcelona. Espai de Recerca en Economia.
  • Handle: RePEc:bar:bedcje:2009233
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    Cited by:

    1. Galle, Brian, 2014. "The effect of national revenues on sub-national revenues evidence from the U.S," International Review of Law and Economics, Elsevier, vol. 37(C), pages 147-155.
    2. Leonzio Rizzo & Alejandro Esteller - Moré, 2011. "US Excise Tax Horizontal Interdependence: Yardstick vs. Tax Competition," Working Papers 201116, University of Ferrara, Department of Economics.
    3. Per G. Fredriksson & Khawaja A. Mamun, 2014. "Tobacco Politics and Electoral Accountability in the United States," Public Finance Review, , vol. 42(1), pages 4-34, January.
    4. William F. Fox & Brian C. Hill & Matthew N. Murray, 2015. "Vertical Competition, Horizontal Competition, and Mobile Capital," Public Finance Review, , vol. 43(4), pages 431-457, July.
    5. Esteller-Moré, Alejandro & Galmarini, Umberto & Rizzo, Leonzio, 2012. "Vertical tax competition and consumption externalities in a federation with lobbying," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 96(3), pages 295-305.

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    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • H77 - Public Economics - - State and Local Government; Intergovernmental Relations - - - Intergovernmental Relations; Federalism
    • H21 - Public Economics - - Taxation, Subsidies, and Revenue - - - Efficiency; Optimal Taxation
    • H3 - Public Economics - - Fiscal Policies and Behavior of Economic Agents

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