IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/
MyIDEAS: Login to save this paper or follow this series

Tax Decentralisation and local Government size

  • Paolo Liberati
  • Agnese Sacchi

The aim of this paper is to re-examine the relationship between fiscal federalism and the size of local governments. Traditionally, the empirical studies have focused on the different accountability power of grants and local taxes, concluding that the former encourages the growth and the latter contributes to contain local public spending. Yet, the existing literature is more silent about the possibility that different types of tax autonomy may still have differential impacts on the expansion of the local public sector. The paper addresses this issue by introducing a new testable hypothesis - the “Tax Separation Hypothesis” (TSH) - according to which tax decentralisation organised on tax bases used only by local governments would favour most the containment of local public expenditures, while that organised on tax base sharing (i.e. piggybacking mechanisms) is not expected to have a significant impact on the local government size. Using an unbalanced panel data set of OECD countries, we adopt the novel approach of disentangling the impact of local taxes - on income, property, and goods and services - on the size of the local public sector. In particular, property taxes only - mostly based on a “tax separation” scheme - seem to have a negative impact on the size of local government. Instead, both income taxes and general taxes on goods and services – often shared with central governments – have uncertain impacts on the size of local governments (and more frequently positive). We conclude that tax decentralisation is a necessary condition to contain local public expenditures, yet it is not sufficient, as a tax separation scheme would in fact be required.

If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.

File URL: http://dipeco.uniroma3.it/public/WP%20123%20Liberati%20Sacchi%202010.pdf
Download Restriction: no

Paper provided by Department of Economics - University Roma Tre in its series Departmental Working Papers of Economics - University 'Roma Tre' with number 0123.

as
in new window

Length: 34
Date of creation: Jun 2010
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:rtr:wpaper:0123
Contact details of provider: Postal:
Via Silvio d'Amico 77, - 00145 Rome Italy

Phone: +39 06 57114612
Fax: +39 06 57114771
Web page: http://host.uniroma3.it/dipartimenti/economia/it/
Email:


More information through EDIRC

References listed on IDEAS
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:

as in new window
  1. Glaeser, Edward L, 1996. " The Incentive Effects of Property Taxes on Local Governments," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 89(1-2), pages 93-111, October.
  2. Jon H. Fiva, 2006. "New Evidence on the Effect of Fiscal Decentralization on the Size and Composition of Government Spending," FinanzArchiv: Public Finance Analysis, Mohr Siebeck, Tübingen, vol. 62(2), pages 250-280, June.
  3. Jorge Martinez-Vazquez, 2007. "Revenue Assignments in the Practice of Fiscal Decentralization," International Center for Public Policy Working Paper Series, at AYSPS, GSU paper0709, International Center for Public Policy, Andrew Young School of Policy Studies, Georgia State University.
  4. P.J. Grossman, 1988. "Fiscal Decentralization and Government Size: An extension," Economics Discussion / Working Papers 88-16, The University of Western Australia, Department of Economics.
  5. BORDIGNON, Massimo & MINELLI, Enrico, . "Rules transparency and political accountability," CORE Discussion Papers RP 1522, Université catholique de Louvain, Center for Operations Research and Econometrics (CORE).
  6. M Arellano & O Bover, 1990. "Another Look at the Instrumental Variable Estimation of Error-Components Models," CEP Discussion Papers dp0007, Centre for Economic Performance, LSE.
  7. Banerjee, Anindya, et al, 1986. "Exploring Equilibrium Relationships in Econometrics through Static Models: Some Monte Carlo Evidence," Oxford Bulletin of Economics and Statistics, Department of Economics, University of Oxford, vol. 48(3), pages 253-77, August.
  8. Oates, Wallace E, 1985. "Searching for Leviathan: An Empirical Study," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 75(4), pages 748-57, September.
  9. Marius BRÜLHART & Mario JAMETTI, 2004. "Vertical Versus Horizontal Tax Externalities: An Empirical Test," Cahiers de Recherches Economiques du Département d'Econométrie et d'Economie politique (DEEP) 04.11, Université de Lausanne, Faculté des HEC, DEEP.
  10. Salmon, Pierre, 1987. "Decentralisation as an Incentive Scheme," Oxford Review of Economic Policy, Oxford University Press, vol. 3(2), pages 24-43, Summer.
  11. Forbes, Kevin F & Zampelli, Ernest M, 1989. "Is Leviathan a Mythical Beast?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 79(3), pages 568-77, June.
  12. repec:ttp:iibwps:16 is not listed on IDEAS
  13. Sonia Paty & Aurélie Cassette, 2009. "Fiscal Decentralization and the Size of Government: A European Country Empirical Analysis," Post-Print halshs-00418861, HAL.
  14. Luiz De Mello, 2001. "Fiscal federalism and government size in transition economies: the case of Moldova," Journal of International Development, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 13(2), pages 255-268.
  15. Ernesto Stein, 1999. "Fiscal Decentralization and Government Size in Latin America," Journal of Applied Economics, Universidad del CEMA, vol. 0, pages 357-391, November.
  16. Michael J. Keen & Christos Kotsogiannis, 2002. "Does Federalism Lead to Excessively High Taxes?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 92(1), pages 363-370, March.
  17. Michael Marlow, 1988. "Fiscal decentralization and government size," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 56(3), pages 259-269, March.
  18. Keen, Michael & Marchand, Maurice, 1997. "Fiscal competition and the pattern of public spending," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 66(1), pages 33-53, October.
  19. P.J. Grossman & E. West, 1991. "Federalism and the Growth of Government Revisited," Economics Discussion / Working Papers 91-05, The University of Western Australia, Department of Economics.
  20. Dollery, Brian E & Worthington, Andrew C, 1996. " The Empirical Analysis of Fiscal Illusion," Journal of Economic Surveys, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 10(3), pages 261-97, September.
  21. Wallis, John Joseph, 1991. "The Political Economy of New Deal Fiscal Federalism," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 29(3), pages 510-24, July.
  22. Richard Blundell & Steve Bond, 1995. "Initial conditions and moment restrictions in dynamic panel data models," IFS Working Papers W95/17, Institute for Fiscal Studies.
  23. Jing Jin & Heng-fu Zou, 2000. "How does fiscal decentralization affect aggregate, national, and subnational government size?," CEMA Working Papers 72, China Economics and Management Academy, Central University of Finance and Economics.
  24. Zax, Jeffrey S, 1989. "Is There a Leviathan in Your Neighborhood?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 79(3), pages 560-67, June.
  25. Lars-Erik Borge & Jørn Rattsø, 2006. "Property taxation as incentive for cost control:Empirical evidence for utility services in Norway," Working Paper Series 7606, Department of Economics, Norwegian University of Science and Technology.
  26. Dani Rodrik, 1998. "Why Do More Open Economies Have Bigger Governments?," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 106(5), pages 997-1032, October.
  27. Lorenzo Boetti & Massimiliano Piacenza & Gilberto Turati, 2012. "Decentralization and Local Governments' Performance: How Does Fiscal Autonomy Affect Spending Efficiency?," FinanzArchiv: Public Finance Analysis, Mohr Siebeck, Tübingen, vol. 68(3), pages 269-302, September.
  28. Jeffrey Zax, 1988. "The Effects of Jurisdiction Types and Numbers on Local Public Finance," NBER Chapters, in: Fiscal Federalism: Quantitative Studies, pages 79-106 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  29. Manuel Arellano & Stephen Bond, 1991. "Some Tests of Specification for Panel Data: Monte Carlo Evidence and an Application to Employment Equations," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 58(2), pages 277-297.
  30. George Crowley & Russell Sobel, 2011. "Does fiscal decentralization constrain Leviathan? New evidence from local property tax competition," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 149(1), pages 5-30, October.
  31. Timothy Besley & Anne Case, 1992. "Incumbent Behavior: Vote Seeking, Tax Setting and Yardstick Competition," NBER Working Papers 4041, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  32. Rodden, Jonathan, 2003. "Reviving Leviathan: Fiscal Federalism and the Growth of Government," International Organization, Cambridge University Press, vol. 57(04), pages 695-729, September.
  33. Brennan, Geoffrey & Buchanan, James M., 1978. "Tax instruments as constraints on the disposition of public revenues," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 9(3), pages 301-318, June.
  34. Silika Prohl & Friedrich Schneider, 2009. "Does Decentralization Reduce Government Size? A Quantitative Study of the Decentralization Hypothesis," Public Finance Review, , vol. 37(6), pages 639-664, November.
  35. Michael J. Keen & Christos Kotsogiannis, 2002. "Tax competition in federations and the welfare consequences of decentralization," Discussion Papers 0201, Exeter University, Department of Economics.
  36. Michael Nelson, 1986. "An empirical analysis of state and local tax structure in the context of the Leviathan model of government," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 49(3), pages 283-294, January.
  37. Ronald J. Shadbegian, 1999. "Fiscal Federalism, Collusion, and Government Size: Evidence from the States," Public Finance Review, , vol. 27(3), pages 262-281, May.
  38. Edwin West, 1992. "Federalism and the Growth of Government Revisited," Carleton Economic Papers 92-06, Carleton University, Department of Economics, revised Apr 1994.
  39. Richard McKenzie & Robert Staaf, 1978. "Revenue sharing and monopoly government," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 33(3), pages 93-97, January.
Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

This item is not listed on Wikipedia, on a reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.

When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:rtr:wpaper:0123. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Telephone for information)

If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.

If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.

If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

This information is provided to you by IDEAS at the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis using RePEc data.