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The 'Flypaper Effect' is not an anomaly

Author

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  • John Roemer
  • Selva Demiralp
  • Holly Liu
  • Jeffrey Williams

    (Department of Economics, University of California Davis)

Abstract

An in-kind subsidy is equivalent, both theoretically and empirically, to an increase of income for an individual consumer. But the equivalence does not empirically carry over to in-kind grants by a central government to a local one: this has been seen as an anomaly and dubbed the â??flypaper effect.â?? We argue that the â??anomalyâ?? label is incorrect: the nonequivalence of increases in grants and community income is predicted, almost everywhere, by models that understand collective decision as the outcome of electoral competition among political parties. In addition, we compute politico-economic equilibria for a model with two independent tax parameters and obtain numerical values that agree with the existing empirical literature.

Suggested Citation

  • John Roemer & Selva Demiralp & Holly Liu & Jeffrey Williams, 2003. "The 'Flypaper Effect' is not an anomaly," Working Papers 04, University of California, Davis, Department of Economics.
  • Handle: RePEc:cda:wpaper:00-4
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    File URL: http://wp.econ.ucdavis.edu/00-4.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Hamilton, Jonathan H., 1986. "The flypaper effect and the deadweight loss from taxation," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 19(2), pages 148-155, March.
    2. John E. Roemer, 1999. "The Democratic Political Economy of Progressive Income Taxation," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 67(1), pages 1-20, January.
    3. Roemer, John E., 1998. "Why the poor do not expropriate the rich: an old argument in new garb," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 70(3), pages 399-424, December.
    4. James R. Hines & Richard H. Thaler, 1995. "The Flypaper Effect," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 9(4), pages 217-226, Fall.
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    Cited by:

    1. van de Walle, Dominique & Mu, Ren, 2007. "Fungibility and the flypaper effect of project aid: Micro-evidence for Vietnam," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 84(2), pages 667-685, November.
    2. Vittoria Idrisova & Lev Freinkman, 2010. "Impact of Federal Transfers over Regional Authorities Behavior," Research Paper Series, Gaidar Institute for Economic Policy, issue 137P.
    3. Bev Dahlby & Ergete Ferede, 2016. "The stimulative effects of intergovernmental grants and the marginal cost of public funds," International Tax and Public Finance, Springer;International Institute of Public Finance, vol. 23(1), pages 114-139, February.
    4. Tae Ho Eom & William Duncombe & Phuong Nguyen-Hoang & John Yinger, 2014. "The Unintended Consequences of Property Tax Relief: New York’s STAR Program," Education Finance and Policy, MIT Press, vol. 9(4), pages 446-480, October.
    5. Dahlby, Bev & Rodden, Jonathan & Wilson, Sam, 2009. "A Median Voter Model of the Vertical Fiscal Gap," Working Papers 2009-14, University of Alberta, Department of Economics.
    6. Bev Dahlby, 2011. "The marginal cost of public funds and the flypaper effect," International Tax and Public Finance, Springer;International Institute of Public Finance, vol. 18(3), pages 304-321, June.
    7. Steven C. Deller & Craig S. Maher, 2006. "A Model of Asymmetries in the Flypaper Effect," Publius: The Journal of Federalism, Oxford University Press, vol. 36(2), pages 213-229.
    8. Aragon, Fernando, 2009. "The flypaper effect revisited," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 58199, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
    9. Gabriella Legrenzi & Costas Milas, 2006. "Asymmetric and Non-Linear Adjustments in Local Fiscal Policy," Keele Economics Research Papers KERP 2006/16, Centre for Economic Research, Keele University.
    10. Carlos A. Vegh y Guillermo Vuletin, 2016. "Unsticking the flypaper effect using distortionary taxation," Económica, Departamento de Economía, Facultad de Ciencias Económicas, Universidad Nacional de La Plata, vol. 62, pages 185-237, January-D.
    11. Chen, Shaohua & Mu, Ren & Ravallion, Martin, 2008. "Are there lasting impacts of aid to poor areas ? Evidence from rural China," Policy Research Working Paper Series 4084, The World Bank.
    12. Furukawa, Mitsuaki & Takahata, Junichiro, 2013. "Is GBS Still a Preferable Aid Modality?," Working Papers 50, JICA Research Institute.
    13. Javiera Bravo, 2013. "The Income Effect of Unconditional Grants: A Reduction in the Collection Effort of Municipalities," Documentos de Trabajo 437, Instituto de Economia. Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile..

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • D72 - Microeconomics - - Analysis of Collective Decision-Making - - - Political Processes: Rent-seeking, Lobbying, Elections, Legislatures, and Voting Behavior
    • H41 - Public Economics - - Publicly Provided Goods - - - Public Goods
    • H71 - Public Economics - - State and Local Government; Intergovernmental Relations - - - State and Local Taxation, Subsidies, and Revenue
    • H77 - Public Economics - - State and Local Government; Intergovernmental Relations - - - Intergovernmental Relations; Federalism

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