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Local government responsiveness to federal transfers: theory and evidence

  • Rizzo, Leonzio

Federal transfers can depend on local fiscal capacity which is measured by local tax bases. The aim of this paper is to understand to what extent and how these transfers affect local tax decisions. We develop a model with two provinces producing one mobile good. The good is taxed according to the destination principle. Final consumers decide to buy the good from the province where it is cheaper. The two provinces engage in tax competition. The introduction of scale economies into the shopping technology generates nonlinear tax reaction functions which make it possible to test the effect of a transfer equalizing local tax bases on tax competition in two complementary tax regimes. Used for this purpose are cigarette and gasoline tax data from Canada. In the case of cigarette tax it is found that nonlinearity in tax competition is almost entirely offset when equalization holds: tax competition in the two tax regimes become closer. The shopping technology for gasoline gives less scope for scale economies, so that equalization does not affect reaction functions.

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Paper provided by University Library of Munich, Germany in its series MPRA Paper with number 5373.

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Date of creation: Jun 2006
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Handle: RePEc:pra:mprapa:5373
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  1. Sotiris Karkalakos & Christos Kotsogiannis, 2007. "A spatial analysis of provincial corporate income tax responses: evidence from Canada," Canadian Journal of Economics, Canadian Economics Association, vol. 40(3), pages 782-811, August.
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  3. Devereux, Michael P & Lockwood, Ben & Redoano, Michela, 2002. "Do Countries Compete Over Corporate Tax Rates?," The Warwick Economics Research Paper Series (TWERPS) 642, University of Warwick, Department of Economics.
  4. Jan K. Brueckner & Luz A. Saavedra, 2000. "Do Local Governments Engage in Strategic Property-Tax Competition?," Econometric Society World Congress 2000 Contributed Papers 0357, Econometric Society.
  5. Besley, Timothy J. & Rosen, Harvey S., 1998. "Vertical externalities in tax setting: evidence from gasoline and cigarettes," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 70(3), pages 383-398, December.
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  8. Valentino Larcinese & Leonzio Rizzo & Cecilia Testa, 2005. "Allocating the US Federal Budget to the States: the Impact of the President," STICERD - Political Economy and Public Policy Paper Series 03, Suntory and Toyota International Centres for Economics and Related Disciplines, LSE.
  9. Zodrow, George R. & Mieszkowski, Peter, 1986. "Pigou, Tiebout, property taxation, and the underprovision of local public goods," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 19(3), pages 356-370, May.
  10. Friberg, Richard & Asplund, Marcus & Wilander, Fredrik, 2005. "Demand and Distance: Evidence on Cross-Border Shopping," SSE/EFI Working Paper Series in Economics and Finance 587, Stockholm School of Economics.
  11. Michael Smart, 1998. "Taxation and Deadweight Loss in a System of Intergovernmental Transfers," Canadian Journal of Economics, Canadian Economics Association, vol. 31(1), pages 189-206, February.
  12. John FitzGerald & Justin Johnston & James Williams, 1995. "Indirect Tax Distortions in a Europe of Shopkeepers," Papers WP056, Economic and Social Research Institute (ESRI).
  13. Mintz, Jack & Tulkens, Henry, 1986. "Commodity tax competition between member states of a federation: equilibrium and efficiency," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 29(2), pages 133-172, March.
  14. Marie C. Thursby & Jerry G. Thursby, 1994. "Interstate Cigarette Bootlegging: Extent, Revenue Losses, and Effects of Government Intervention," NBER Working Papers 4763, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  15. Masayoshi Hayashi & Robin Boadway, 2001. "An empirical analysis of intergovernmental tax interaction: the case of business income taxes in Canada," Canadian Journal of Economics, Canadian Economics Association, vol. 34(2), pages 481-503, May.
  16. Alejandro Esteller-Moré & Albert Solé-Ollé, 2002. "Tax Setting in a Federal System: The Case of Personal Income Taxation in Canada," International Tax and Public Finance, Springer, vol. 9(3), pages 235-257, May.
  17. Craig Brett & Joris Pinkse, 1997. "Those Taxes are all over the Map! A Test for Spatial Independence of Municipal Tax Rates in British Columbia," International Regional Science Review, , vol. 20(1-2), pages 131-151, April.
  18. Sam Bucovetsky & Michael Smart, 2002. "The Efficiency Consequences of Local Revenue Equalization: Tax Competition and Tax Distortions," CESifo Working Paper Series 767, CESifo Group Munich.
  19. Kimberley Scharf, 1999. "Scale Economies in Cross-Border Shopping and Commodity Taxation," International Tax and Public Finance, Springer, vol. 6(1), pages 89-99, February.
  20. Marko Köthenbürger, 2002. "Tax Competition and Fiscal Equalization," International Tax and Public Finance, Springer, vol. 9(4), pages 391-408, August.
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