Can lower tax rates be bought? Business rent-seeking and tax competition among U.S. states
The standard model of strategic tax competition – the non-cooperative tax-setting behavior of jurisdictions competing for a mobile capital tax base – assumes that government policymakers are perfectly benevolent, acting solely to maximize the utility of the representative resident in their jurisdiction. We depart from this assumption by allowing for the possibility that policymakers, given the political and electoral environments in which they operate, also may be influenced by the rent-seeking (lobbying) behavior of businesses. Firms recognize the factors affecting policymakers’ welfare and may make campaign contributions to influence tax policy. These changes to the standard strategic tax competition model imply that business contributions affect not only the levels of equilibrium tax rates but also the slope of the tax reaction function between jurisdictions. Thus, business campaign contributions may affect tax competition and enhance or retard the mobility of capital across jurisdictions. ; Based on a panel of 48 U.S. states and unique data on business campaign contributions, our empirical work uncovers four key results. First, we document a significant direct effect of business contributions on tax policy. Second, the economic value of a $1 business campaign contribution in terms of lower state corporate taxes is nearly $4. Third, the slope of the reaction function between tax policy in a given state and the tax policies of its competitive states is negative. Fourth, we highlight the sensitivity of the empirical results to state effects.
|Date of creation:||2009|
|Contact details of provider:|| Postal: P.O. Box 7702, San Francisco, CA 94120-7702|
Phone: (415) 974-2000
Fax: (415) 974-3333
Web page: http://www.frbsf.org/
More information through EDIRC
|Order Information:|| Email: |
References listed on IDEAS
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
- Grossman, G.M. & Helpman, E., 1992.
"Protection for Sale,"
162, Princeton, Woodrow Wilson School - Public and International Affairs.
- Grossman, G.M. & Helpman, E., 1992. "Protection for Sale," Papers 21-92, Tel Aviv.
- Gene M. Grossman & Elhanan Helpman, 1992. "Protection For Sale," NBER Working Papers 4149, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Grossman, Gene & Helpman, Elhanan, 1993. "Protection for Sale," CEPR Discussion Papers 827, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
- Edwards, Jeremy & Keen, Michael, 1996.
"Tax competition and Leviathan,"
European Economic Review,
Elsevier, vol. 40(1), pages 113-134, January.
- Devereux, Michael P. & Lockwood, Ben & Redoano, Michela, 2002.
"Do Countries Compete over Corporate Tax Rates?,"
CEPR Discussion Papers
3400, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
- Devereux, Michael P & Lockwood, Ben & Redoano, Michela, 2002. "Do Countries Compete Over Corporate Tax Rates?," The Warwick Economics Research Paper Series (TWERPS) 642, University of Warwick, Department of Economics.
- Robert S. Chirinko & Daniel J. Wilson, 2007.
"State Investment Tax Incentives: A Zero-Sum Game?,"
CESifo Working Paper Series
1895, CESifo Group Munich.
- Aggarwal Rajesh K. & Meschke Felix & Wang Tracy Yue, 2012. "Corporate Political Donations: Investment or Agency?," Business and Politics, De Gruyter, vol. 14(1), pages 1-40, April.
- Robert S. Chirinko & Daniel J. Wilson, 2007.
"Tax competition among U.S. states: racing to the bottom or riding on a seesaw?,"
Working Paper Series
2008-03, Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco.
- Robert S. Chirinko & Daniel J. Wilson, 2011. "Tax Competition Among U.S. States: Racing to the Bottom or Riding on a Seesaw?," CESifo Working Paper Series 3535, CESifo Group Munich.
- Michael J. Cooper & Huseyin Gulen & Alexei V. Ovtchinnikov, 2010. "Corporate Political Contributions and Stock Returns," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 65(2), pages 687-724, 04.
- Case, Anne C. & Rosen, Harvey S. & Hines, James Jr., 1993. "Budget spillovers and fiscal policy interdependence : Evidence from the states," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 52(3), pages 285-307, October.
- Daniel J. Wilson, 2006. "The mystery of falling state corporate income taxes," FRBSF Economic Letter, Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco, issue dec8.
- Stock, James H & Wright, Jonathan H & Yogo, Motohiro, 2002. "A Survey of Weak Instruments and Weak Identification in Generalized Method of Moments," Journal of Business & Economic Statistics, American Statistical Association, vol. 20(4), pages 518-529, October.
- James H. Stock & Motohiro Yogo, 2002. "Testing for Weak Instruments in Linear IV Regression," NBER Technical Working Papers 0284, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:fip:fedfwp:2009-29. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.
For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Noah Pollaczek)
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.