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Fiscal competition between decentralized jurisdictions, theoretical and empirical evidence

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  • Clément Carbonnier

    () (THEMA - Université de Cergy-Pontoise, 33 boulevard du port, F 95011 Cergy-Pontoise cedex, France)

Abstract

This article provides theoretical and empirical evidence that local fiscal competition generates a bias toward low business tax rates. Furthermore, it is shown that this bias is stronger for smaller jurisdictions. First, a theoretical model is settled with private and public capital and a fixed factor. The fixed factor allows to consider differences between the jurisdictions. The results show that there exists a bias toward low tax rates due to tax competition. This bias generates an underprovision of public capital, and therefore production is smaller with tax competition than with cooperation. Moreover, the bias toward low tax rates is stronger for jurisdictions with less fixed factor. That means that tax competition generates a larger production decrease for smaller jurisdictions. The empirical part aims at estimating the bias toward low tax rates and its dependency with respect to the fixed factor. Panel regressions with temporal and individual fixed effects of the tax rates are implemented with French local data, using the creation of intercity communities. The results indicate that the bias toward low local tax rates is strong: up to 23% decrease for the smaller cities. It is also significantly decreasing with respect to the city size: there is no tax rate decrease due to tax competition for the biggest cities.

Suggested Citation

  • Clément Carbonnier, 2008. "Fiscal competition between decentralized jurisdictions, theoretical and empirical evidence," THEMA Working Papers 2008-17, THEMA (THéorie Economique, Modélisation et Applications), Université de Cergy-Pontoise.
  • Handle: RePEc:ema:worpap:2008-17
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    File URL: http://thema.u-cergy.fr/IMG/documents/2008-17.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Haughwout, Andrew F. & Inman, Robert P., 2001. "Fiscal policies in open cities with firms and households," Regional Science and Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 31(2-3), pages 147-180, April.
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    7. Thornton, John, 2007. "Fiscal decentralization and economic growth reconsidered," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 61(1), pages 64-70, January.
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Optimal taxation; Business taxes ; Tax competition ; Public capital; Firm location.;

    JEL classification:

    • H21 - Public Economics - - Taxation, Subsidies, and Revenue - - - Efficiency; Optimal Taxation
    • H25 - Public Economics - - Taxation, Subsidies, and Revenue - - - Business Taxes and Subsidies
    • H73 - Public Economics - - State and Local Government; Intergovernmental Relations - - - Interjurisdictional Differentials and Their Effects
    • R12 - Urban, Rural, Regional, Real Estate, and Transportation Economics - - General Regional Economics - - - Size and Spatial Distributions of Regional Economic Activity; Interregional Trade (economic geography)
    • R30 - Urban, Rural, Regional, Real Estate, and Transportation Economics - - Real Estate Markets, Spatial Production Analysis, and Firm Location - - - General

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