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Fiscal Competition over Taxes and Public Inputs: Theory and Evidence

  • Sebastian Hauptmeier
  • Ferdinand Mittermaier
  • Johannes Rincke

We set up a model to characterize the reaction functions of governments competing for mobile capital by simultaneously setting both the business tax rate as well as the level of provision of a productive public input. Using a rich data set of local jurisdictions, we then test the predictions of the model with respect to the nature of strategic interaction among governments. Our findings from efficient estimation of a system of spatially interrelated equations for both policy instruments support the notion that local governments use both the business tax rate and public inputs to compete for capital. In particular, we find that if neighbors cut their tax rates, governments try to restore competitiveness by lowering their own tax and increasing spending on public inputs. If neighbors provide more infrastructure, governments react by increasing their own spending on public inputs.

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File URL: http://www.cesifo-group.de/portal/page/portal/DocBase_Content/WP/WP-CESifo_Working_Papers/wp-cesifo-2008/wp-cesifo-2008-12/cesifo1_wp2499.pdf
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Paper provided by CESifo Group Munich in its series CESifo Working Paper Series with number 2499.

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Date of creation: 2008
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Handle: RePEc:ces:ceswps:_2499
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  1. Thiess Buettner, 2005. "The Incentive Effect of Fiscal Equalization Transfers on Tax Policy," CESifo Working Paper Series 1404, CESifo Group Munich.
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  3. Devereux, Michael P. & Lockwood, Ben & Redoano, Michela, 2008. "Do countries compete over corporate tax rates?," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 92(5-6), pages 1210-1235, June.
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  5. Thiess Büttner, 1999. "Determinants of Tax Rates in Local Capital Income Taxation: A Theoretical Model and Evidence from Germany," FinanzArchiv: Public Finance Analysis, Mohr Siebeck, Tübingen, vol. 56(3/4), pages 363-, July.
  6. Wildasin, D.E., 1987. "Nash equilibria in models of fiscal competition," CORE Discussion Papers 1987020, Université catholique de Louvain, Center for Operations Research and Econometrics (CORE).
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  10. HINDRIKS, Jean & PERALTA, Susana & WEBER, Shlomo, 2006. "Competing in taxes and investment under fiscal equalization," CORE Discussion Papers 2006109, Université catholique de Louvain, Center for Operations Research and Econometrics (CORE).
  11. KEEN, Michael & MARCHAND, Maurice, 1996. "Fiscal Competition and the Pattern of Public Spending," CORE Discussion Papers 1996001, Université catholique de Louvain, Center for Operations Research and Econometrics (CORE).
  12. Baicker, Katherine, 2005. "The spillover effects of state spending," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 89(2-3), pages 529-544, February.
  13. Wildasin, D.E., 1989. "Some Rudimentary Duopolity Theorem," Working Papers 9, John Deutsch Institute for the Study of Economic Policy.
  14. Conley, T. G., 1999. "GMM estimation with cross sectional dependence," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 92(1), pages 1-45, September.
  15. Buettner, Thiess, 2003. "Tax base effects and fiscal externalities of local capital taxation: evidence from a panel of German jurisdictions," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 54(1), pages 110-128, July.
  16. Bergstrom, Theodore C & Goodman, Robert P, 1973. "Private Demands for Public Goods," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 63(3), pages 280-96, June.
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  18. Peter Egger & Marko Koethenbuerger & Michael Smart, 2007. "Do Fiscal Transfers Alleviate Business Tax Competition? Evidence from Germany," CESifo Working Paper Series 1955, CESifo Group Munich.
  19. Sam Bucovetsky & Michael Smart, 2006. "The Efficiency Consequences of Local Revenue Equalization: Tax Competition and Tax Distortions," Journal of Public Economic Theory, Association for Public Economic Theory, vol. 8(1), pages 119-144, 01.
  20. John G. Fernald, 1999. "Roads to Prosperity? Assessing the Link between Public Capital and Productivity," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 89(3), pages 619-638, June.
  21. Zodrow, George R. & Mieszkowski, Peter, 1986. "Pigou, Tiebout, property taxation, and the underprovision of local public goods," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 19(3), pages 356-370, May.
  22. Wilson, J.D., 1990. "Tax Competition With Interregional Differences In Factor Endowments," Working Papers 4, John Deutsch Institute for the Study of Economic Policy.
  23. Craig, Steven G., 1987. "The impact of congestion on local public good production," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 32(3), pages 331-353, April.
  24. Kelejian, Harry H & Prucha, Ingmar R, 1999. "A Generalized Moments Estimator for the Autoregressive Parameter in a Spatial Model," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 40(2), pages 509-33, May.
  25. Brueckner, Jan K. & Saavedra, Luz A., 2001. "Do Local Governments Engage in Strategic Property-Tax Competition?," National Tax Journal, National Tax Association, vol. 54(n. 2), pages 203-30, June.
  26. Jack Mintz & Henry Tulkens, 1984. "Commodity Tax Competition Between Member States of a Federation," Working Papers 558, Queen's University, Department of Economics.
  27. Wilson, John D., 1986. "A theory of interregional tax competition," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 19(3), pages 296-315, May.
  28. Agnès Bénassy-Quéré & Nicolas Gobalraja & Alain Trannoy, 2007. "Tax and public input competition," Economic Policy, CEPR;CES;MSH, vol. 22, pages 385-430, 04.
  29. Bucovetsky, S., 2005. "Public input competition," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 89(9-10), pages 1763-1787, September.
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