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Incumbent Behavior: Vote Seeking, Tax Setting and Yardstick Competition

  • Timothy Besley
  • Anne Case

This paper presents a theoretical and empirical investigation of tax competition when voters use the tax policy of neighboring jurisdictions as information to evaluate the performance of their incumbent politicians. We show that this has implications both for voter tolerance of high taxes and for the process of tax setting itself, Our empirical results, which use two different tax data sets, confirm the importance of neighbors' taxes both on the probability of incumbent reelection and on tax setting behavior.

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Paper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 4041.

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Date of creation: Mar 1992
Date of revision:
Publication status: published as American Economic Review, Volume 85, No. 1, March 1995: pp. 25-45
Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:4041
Note: PE
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  1. Paul R. Milgrom, 1981. "Good News and Bad News: Representation Theorems and Applications," Bell Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 12(2), pages 380-391, Autumn.
  2. Epple, Dennis & Zelenitz, Allan, 1981. "The Implications of Competition among Jurisdictions: Does Tiebout Need Politics?," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 89(6), pages 1197-1217, December.
  3. Sundadam, R.K. & Banks, J., 1991. "Adverse Selection and Moral hazard in a Repeated Elections Models," RCER Working Papers 283, University of Rochester - Center for Economic Research (RCER).
  4. James J. Heckman, 1977. "Dummy Endogenous Variables in a Simultaneous Equation System," NBER Working Papers 0177, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  5. Case, Anne C, 1991. "Spatial Patterns in Household Demand," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 59(4), pages 953-65, July.
  6. Henderson, J Vernon, 1985. "The Tiebout Model: Bring Back the Entrepreneurs," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 93(2), pages 248-64, April.
  7. Rubinfeld, Daniel L., 1987. "The economics of the local public sector," Handbook of Public Economics, in: A. J. Auerbach & M. Feldstein (ed.), Handbook of Public Economics, edition 1, volume 2, chapter 11, pages 571-645 Elsevier.
  8. Epple, Dennis & Romer, Thomas & Filimon, Radu, 1988. "Community development with endogenous land use controls," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 35(2), pages 133-162, March.
  9. Kenneth Rogoff, 1987. "Equilibrium Political Budget Cycles," NBER Working Papers 2428, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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