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Can lower tax rates be bought? Business rent-seeking and tax competition among U.S.States

  • Robert S. Chirinko

    ()

    (University of Illinois at Chicago)

  • Daniel J. Wilson

    ()

    (Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco)

The standard model of strategic tax competition assumes that government policymakers are perfectly benevolent. We depart from this assumption by allowing policymakers to be influenced by the rent-seeking behavior of businesses. 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, we find that contributions have a significant direct effect on tax policy, the economic value of a $1 business campaign contribution is nearly $4, the slope of the tax reaction function is negative, and the empirical results are sensitive to state effects.

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Paper provided by Institut d'Economia de Barcelona (IEB) in its series Working Papers with number 2010/2.

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Length: 44 pages
Date of creation: 2010
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:ieb:wpaper:2010/4/doc2010-2
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  1. Gene M. Grossman & Elhanan Helpman, 1992. "Protection For Sale," NBER Working Papers 4149, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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 518-29, October.
  5. 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.
  6. 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.
  7. 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.
  8. Edwards, Jeremy & Keen, Michael, 1996. "Tax competition and Leviathan," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 40(1), pages 113-134, January.
  9. 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.
  10. Chirinko, Robert S. & Wilson, Daniel J., 2008. "State investment tax incentives: A zero-sum game?," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 92(12), pages 2362-2384, December.
  11. Daniel Wilson, 2006. "The mystery of falling state corporate income taxes," FRBSF Economic Letter, Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco, issue dec8.
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