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Tax Structure and Public Sector Growth

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  • Daniel R. Feenberg
  • Harvey S. Rosen

Abstract

It has been hypothesized that a jurisdiction's tax structure exerts an independent effect upon the growth of its public sector. We test this hypothesis by examining the relationship between the growth of state general expenditure and the elasticity of tax revenues with respect to income. The work takes advantage of a very careful set of income elasticities for the personal income and sales tax systems for each state, for every year from 1978 to 1983. The main conclusion is that the data do not support the notion that the form of the tax structure exerts an independent effect on public sector growth.

Suggested Citation

  • Daniel R. Feenberg & Harvey S. Rosen, 1986. "Tax Structure and Public Sector Growth," NBER Working Papers 2020, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  • Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:2020
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Wu, De-Min, 1973. "Alternative Tests of Independence Between Stochastic Regressors and Disturbances," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 41(4), pages 733-750, July.
    2. 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.
    3. Courant, Paul N & Gramlich, Edward M & Rubinfeld, Daniel L, 1979. "Public Employee Market Power and the Level of Government Spending," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 69(5), pages 806-817, December.
    4. Eleanor Craig & A. Heins, 1980. "The effect of tax elasticity on government spending," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 35(3), pages 267-275, January.
    5. Thomas J. D, 1982. "Tax Elasticity and the Growth of Local Public Expenditure," Public Finance Review, , vol. 10(3), pages 385-392, July.
    6. Charles H. Breeden & William J. Hunter, 1985. "Tax Revenue and Tax Structure," Public Finance Review, , vol. 13(2), pages 216-224, April.
    7. Samuel H. Baker, 1983. "The Determinants of Median Voter Tax Liability: an Empirical Test of the Fiscal Illusion Hypothesis," Public Finance Review, , vol. 11(1), pages 95-108, January.
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    Cited by:

    1. Alejandro Esteller-Moré & Albert Solé-Ollé, 2000. "Vertical income tax externalities and fiscal interdependence: Evidence from the US Model," Working Papers 2000/1, Institut d'Economia de Barcelona (IEB).
    2. Esteller-More, Alex & Sole-Olle, Albert, 2001. "Vertical income tax externalities and fiscal interdependence: evidence from the US," Regional Science and Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 31(2-3), pages 247-272, April.
    3. Douglas Holtz-Eakin, 1988. "The Line Item Veto and Public Sector Budgets: Evidence from the States," NBER Working Papers 2531, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    4. Andrew Abbott & Philip Jones, 2016. "Fiscal Illusion and Cyclical Government Expenditure: State Government Expenditure in the United States," Scottish Journal of Political Economy, Scottish Economic Society, vol. 63(2), pages 177-193, May.
    5. Alan J. Auerbach, 1990. "Public Sector Dynamics," NBER Working Papers 3508, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    6. Gilbert E. Metcalf, 1995. "Value-Added Taxation: A Tax Whose Time Has Come?," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 9(1), pages 121-140, Winter.
    7. Michael Marlow & David Joulfaian, 1989. "The determinants of off-budget activity of state and local governments," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 63(2), pages 113-123, November.
    8. Walter Misiolek & Harold Elder, 1988. "Tax structure and the size of government: An empirical analysis of the fiscal illusion and fiscal stress arguments," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 57(3), pages 233-245, June.
    9. Helen F. Ladd, 1993. "State responses to the TRA86 revenue windfalls: A new test of the flypaper effect," Journal of Policy Analysis and Management, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 12(1), pages 82-103.
    10. Boarnet, Marlon G. & Glazer, Amihai, 2002. "Federal grants and yardstick competition," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 52(1), pages 53-64, July.

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