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Federal Taxation And The Supply Of State Debt

  • METCALF, G.E.

This paper presents a model of debt finance at the sub-national level from which municipal bond supply equations are derived. Federal tax considerations are shown to be important determinants of the price entering the bond supply equation. Using data on 40 state governments over a seven year period in the 1980s, I show that federal tax rates have an important effect on the supply of municipal bonds - independent of the demand side effect that is usually considered in the literature. Furthermore, the effect persists after controlling for capital expenditures, thereby suggesting that municipal bond proceeds are fungible at the margin. This has implications for the measurement of the tax expenditure associated with tax exempt debt.

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Paper provided by Princeton, Woodrow Wilson School - Discussion Paper in its series Papers with number 40.

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Length: 30 pages
Date of creation: 1989
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:fth:priwdp:40
Contact details of provider: Postal: PRINCETON UNIVERSITY, WOODROW WILSON SCHOOL OF PUBLIC AND INTERNATIONAL AFFAIRS, DEPARTMENT OF ECONOMICS, PRINCETON NEW-JERSEY 08542 U.S.A.
Phone: (609) 258-4800
Web page: http://www.wws.princeton.edu/

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  1. Poterba, James M., 1989. "Tax reform and the market for tax-exempt debt," Regional Science and Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 19(3), pages 537-562, August.
  2. Jensen, Michael C. & Meckling, William H., 1976. "Theory of the firm: Managerial behavior, agency costs and ownership structure," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 3(4), pages 305-360, October.
  3. Myers, Stewart C, 1984. " The Capital Structure Puzzle," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 39(3), pages 575-92, July.
  4. Stewart C. Myers, 1984. "Capital Structure Puzzle," NBER Working Papers 1393, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  5. Roger H. Gordon & Joel B. Slemrod, 1986. "An Empirical Examination of Municipal Financial Policy," NBER Chapters, in: Studies in State and Local Public Finance, pages 53-82 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  6. Feldstein, Martin S & Metcalf, Gilbert E, 1987. "The Effect of Federal Tax Deductibility on State and Local Taxes and Spending," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 95(4), pages 710-36, August.
  7. Engle, Robert F., 1984. "Wald, likelihood ratio, and Lagrange multiplier tests in econometrics," Handbook of Econometrics, in: Z. Griliches† & M. D. Intriligator (ed.), Handbook of Econometrics, edition 1, volume 2, chapter 13, pages 775-826 Elsevier.
  8. Metcalfe, G.E., 1988. "Federal Tax Policy And Municipal Financial Behavior," Papers 29, Princeton, Woodrow Wilson School - Discussion Paper.
  9. Barro, Robert J., 1979. "On the Determination of the Public Debt," Scholarly Articles 3451400, Harvard University Department of Economics.
  10. 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.
  11. Alan J. Auerbach, 1983. "Real Determinants of Corporate Leverage," NBER Working Papers 1151, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  12. Inman, Robert P., 1987. "Markets, governments, and the "new" political economy," Handbook of Public Economics, in: A. J. Auerbach & M. Feldstein (ed.), Handbook of Public Economics, edition 1, volume 2, chapter 12, pages 647-777 Elsevier.
  13. Sally A. Asefa & Roy D. Adams & Dennis R. Starleaf, 1981. "Municipal Borrowing: Some Empirical Results," Public Finance Review, , vol. 9(3), pages 271-280, July.
  14. Myers, Stewart C., 1984. "Capital structure puzzle," Working papers 1548-84., Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Sloan School of Management.
  15. James M. Poterba, 1986. "Explaining the Yield Spread between Taxable and Tax-exempt Bonds: The Role of Expected Tax Policy," NBER Chapters, in: Studies in State and Local Public Finance, pages 5-52 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  16. Borcherding, Thomas E & Deacon, Robert T, 1972. "The Demand for the Services of Non-Federal Governments," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 62(5), pages 891-901, December.
  17. Epple, Dennis & Spatt, Chester, 1986. "State restrictions on local debt : Their role in preventing default," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 29(2), pages 199-221, March.
  18. Kydland, Finn E & Prescott, Edward C, 1977. "Rules Rather Than Discretion: The Inconsistency of Optimal Plans," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 85(3), pages 473-91, June.
  19. Metcalf, Gilbert E, 1990. "Arbitrage and the Savings Behavior of State Governments," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 72(3), pages 390-96, August.
  20. Fortune, Peter, 1988. "Municipal Bond Yields: Whose Tax Rates Matter?," National Tax Journal, National Tax Association, vol. 41(2), pages 219-33, June.
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