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Beggar-Thy-Neighbour Tax Cuts: Mobility After a Local Income and Wealth Tax Reform in Switzerland

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Abstract

I analyze mobility responses to the unique introduction of regressive local income schedule in the Swiss Canton of Obwalden in 2006, which was aimed at attracting the top 1%. Difference-in-Differences estimations comparing Obwalden to all other cantons confirm that the reform successfully attracted rich taxpayers: by 2016, the share of rich in the canton more than doubled and average income per taxpayer was 16% higher relative to 2005. Using individual tax data and an instrumental variable approach, I find a large elasticity of the stock of rich taxpayers of 1.5–2 with respect to the average net-of-tax rate. The corresponding flow elasticity ranges from 6.5 to 10. However, the reform did not yield any Laffer effects. Finally, I find positive effects on local employment: the number of jobs per 1,000 inhabitants rose by an estimated 2.3% relative to other cantons and compared to 2005. However, these employment effects are likely driven by a simultaneous reduction of the corporate tax rate.

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  • Isabel Martinez, 2021. "Beggar-Thy-Neighbour Tax Cuts: Mobility After a Local Income and Wealth Tax Reform in Switzerland," KOF Working papers 21-490, KOF Swiss Economic Institute, ETH Zurich.
  • Handle: RePEc:kof:wpskof:21-490
    DOI: 10.3929/ethz-b-000463387
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    Cited by:

    1. Henrik Kleven & Camille Landais & Mathilde Muñoz & Stefanie Stantcheva, 2020. "Taxation and Migration: Evidence and Policy Implications," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 34(2), pages 119-142, Spring.
    2. Katrine Jakobsen & Kristian Jakobsen & Henrik Kleven & Gabriel Zucman, 2020. "Wealth Taxation and Wealth Accumulation: Theory and Evidence From Denmark," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 135(1), pages 329-388.
    3. Isabel Z. Martínez & Emmanuel Saez & Michael Siegenthaler, 2021. "Intertemporal Labor Supply Substitution? Evidence from the Swiss Income Tax Holidays," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 111(2), pages 506-546, February.
    4. Brülhart, Marius & Gruber, Jonathan & Krapf, Matthias & Schmidheiny, Kurt, 2019. "Behavioral Responses to Wealth Taxes: Evidence from Switzerland," CEPR Discussion Papers 14054, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    5. Marius Brülhart & Jonathan Gruber & Matthias Krapf & Kurt Schmidheiny, 2016. "Taxing Wealth: Evidence from Switzerland," CESifo Working Paper Series 5966, CESifo.
    6. Mathilde Munoz, 2019. "How Much are the Poor Losing from Tax Competition: The Welfare Effects of Fiscal Dumping in Europe," PSE Working Papers hal-02876988, HAL.
    7. Brülhart, Marius & Danton, Jayson & Parchet, Raphaël & Schläpfer, Jörg, 2021. "Who Bears the Burden of Local Taxes?," CEPR Discussion Papers 15826, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    8. Beatrix Eugster & Raphaël Parchet, 2019. "Culture and Taxes," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 127(1), pages 296-337.
    9. Mathilde Munoz, 2019. "How Much are the Poor Losing from Tax Competition: The Welfare Effects of Fiscal Dumping in Europe," Working Papers hal-02876988, HAL.
    10. Mathilde Munoz, 2019. "How Much are the Poor Losing from Tax Competition: The Welfare Effects of Fiscal Dumping in Europe," World Inequality Lab Working Papers hal-02876988, HAL.

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    : Mobility; Personal income tax; Local taxes; Tax competition; Regressive income tax;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • H24 - Public Economics - - Taxation, Subsidies, and Revenue - - - Personal Income and Other Nonbusiness Taxes and Subsidies
    • H31 - Public Economics - - Fiscal Policies and Behavior of Economic Agents - - - Household
    • H71 - Public Economics - - State and Local Government; Intergovernmental Relations - - - State and Local Taxation, Subsidies, and Revenue
    • H73 - Public Economics - - State and Local Government; Intergovernmental Relations - - - Interjurisdictional Differentials and Their Effects
    • R23 - Urban, Rural, Regional, Real Estate, and Transportation Economics - - Household Analysis - - - Regional Migration; Regional Labor Markets; Population

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