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The relationship between firm mobility and tax level: Empirical evidence of fiscal competition between local governments




The mobility of the tax base may influence fiscal outcomes. The many theoretical contributions about the role of mobility are not matched by empirical evidence. Existing studies address strategic interaction between governments, but have little to say about mobility. We introduce a new measure of mobility conditions based on the geographic profit variability of industrial sectors. The econometric analysis shows a systematic negative relationship between mobility conditions and tax level among municipalities in Norway. The analysis takes into account neighborhood effects in a spatial model, and the endogeneity of mobility conditions is handled with instrumental variables.

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  • Fredrik Carlsen & Bjørg Langset & Jørn Rattsø, 2005. "The relationship between firm mobility and tax level: Empirical evidence of fiscal competition between local governments," Discussion Papers 424, Statistics Norway, Research Department.
  • Handle: RePEc:ssb:dispap:424

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Borge, Lars-Erik & Rattso, Jorn, 1995. "Demographic shift, relative costs and the allocation of local public consumption in Norway," Regional Science and Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 25(6), pages 705-726, December.
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    Cited by:

    1. Osterloh, Steffen & Heinemann, Friedrich, 2013. "The political economy of corporate tax harmonization — Why do European politicians (dis)like minimum tax rates?," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 29(C), pages 18-37.
    2. Karen Crabbé, 2013. "Are Your Firm´s Taxes Set in Warsaw? Spatial Tax Competition in Europe," FinanzArchiv: Public Finance Analysis, Mohr Siebeck, Tübingen, vol. 69(3), pages 317-337, September.
    3. Jordi Jofre-Monseny & Albert Solé-Ollé, 2008. "Which Communities should be afraid of Mobility? The Effects of Agglomeration Economies on the Sensitivity of Firm Location to Local Taxes," CESifo Working Paper Series 2311, CESifo Group Munich.
    4. Jordi Jofre-Monseny, 2010. "Is agglomeration taxable?," Working Papers 2010/15, Institut d'Economia de Barcelona (IEB).
    5. Hansjörg Blöchliger & José Maria Pinero Campos, 2011. "Tax Competition Between Sub-Central Governments," OECD Economics Department Working Papers 872, OECD Publishing.
    6. Jørn Rattsø & Jon Hernes Fiva, 2005. "Decentralization with Property Taxation to Improve Incentives: Evidence from Local Governments’ Discrete Choice," Working Paper Series 5305, Department of Economics, Norwegian University of Science and Technology, revised 02 Sep 2005.
    7. Jofre-Monseny, Jordi & Solé-Ollé, Albert, 2012. "Which communities should be afraid of mobility? The effects of agglomeration economies on the sensitivity of employment location to local taxes," Regional Science and Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 42(1-2), pages 257-268.
    8. Timothy P. Hubbard & Justin Svec, 2015. "A Model of Tradeable Capital Tax Permits," Journal of Public Economic Theory, Association for Public Economic Theory, vol. 17(6), pages 916-942, December.
    9. Langenmayr, Dominika Irma & Martin, Simmler, 2016. "Why the Current Tax Rate Tells You Little: Competing For Mobile and Immobile Firms," Annual Conference 2016 (Augsburg): Demographic Change 145568, Verein für Socialpolitik / German Economic Association.
    10. C. Dembour, 2008. "Competition for Business Location: A Survey," Journal of Industry, Competition and Trade, Springer, vol. 8(2), pages 89-111, June.
    11. Robert Alexander & Rui-cong Sang & Sajid Anwar, 2016. "Regional Policy and Industrial Relocation in China: A Panel Data Analysis," EcoMod2016 9277, EcoMod.
    12. Lars-Erik Borge & Jørn Rattsø, 2017. "Local Economic Consequences of Investment in Children: Capitalization of Child Care Services," CESifo Working Paper Series 6809, CESifo Group Munich.
    13. Michael Keen & Kai A. Konrad, 2012. "International Tax Competition and Coordination," Working Papers international_tax_competi, Max Planck Institute for Tax Law and Public Finance.
    14. Jon Fiva & Jørn Rattsø, 2007. "Local choice of property taxation: evidence from Norway," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 132(3), pages 457-470, September.
    15. Leon Bettendorf & Joeri Gorter & Albert van der Horst, 2006. "Who benefits from tax competition in the European Union?," CPB Document 125, CPB Netherlands Bureau for Economic Policy Analysis.

    More about this item


    Fiscal competition; mobility; local taxation;

    JEL classification:

    • H71 - Public Economics - - State and Local Government; Intergovernmental Relations - - - State and Local Taxation, Subsidies, and Revenue
    • H72 - Public Economics - - State and Local Government; Intergovernmental Relations - - - State and Local Budget and Expenditures
    • H73 - Public Economics - - State and Local Government; Intergovernmental Relations - - - Interjurisdictional Differentials and Their Effects
    • C21 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Single Equation Models; Single Variables - - - Cross-Sectional Models; Spatial Models; Treatment Effect Models

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