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Income Segregation from Local Income Taxation When Households Differ in Both Preferences and Incomes

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  • Kurt Schmidheiny

Abstract

This paper presents a model of an urban area with local income taxes used to finance a local public good. Households differ in both incomes and their taste for housing. The existence of a segregated equilibrium is shown in a calibrated two-community model assuming single-peaked distributions for both income and housing taste. The equilibrium features income segregation of the population across the communities. The segregation is, however, imperfect: some rich households can also be found in poor communities and vice-versa. The calibrated model is able to explain the substantial differences in local income tax levels and average incomes across communities as observed in e.g. Switzerland. The numerical investigation reveals that the ordering of community characteristics critically depends on the substitutability between the public and the private good. The numerical investigation also suggests that taste heterogeneity reduces the distributional effects of local tax differences. The numerical investigation furthermore suggests that the rich community is able to set lower taxes when it is small.

Suggested Citation

  • Kurt Schmidheiny, 2005. "Income Segregation from Local Income Taxation When Households Differ in Both Preferences and Incomes," Discussion Papers Series, Department of Economics, Tufts University 0509, Department of Economics, Tufts University.
  • Handle: RePEc:tuf:tuftec:0509
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    Cited by:

    1. Gilbert Metcalf & Jongsang Park, 2007. "A comment on the role of prices for excludable public goods," International Tax and Public Finance, Springer;International Institute of Public Finance, vol. 14(6), pages 685-698, December.
    2. Christoph Basten & Maximilian von Ehrlich & Andrea Lassmann, 2014. "Income Taxes, Sorting, and the Costs of Housing: Evidence from Municipal Boundaries in Switzerland," CESifo Working Paper Series 4896, CESifo Group Munich.
    3. Marcus Roller & Kurt Schmidheiny, 2016. "Effective Tax Rates and Effective Progressivity in a Fiscally Decentralized Country," CESifo Working Paper Series 5834, CESifo Group Munich.
    4. Gaign�, Carl & Koster, Hans R.A. & Moizeau, Fabien & Thisse, Jacques-Fran�ois, 2017. "Amenities and the Social Structure of Cities," CEPR Discussion Papers 11958, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    5. Jan Eeckhout & Roberto Pinheiro & Kurt Schmidheiny, 2014. "Spatial Sorting," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 122(3), pages 554-620.
    6. Stephen M. Calabrese & Dennis N. Epple & Richard E. Romano, 2012. "Inefficiencies from Metropolitan Political and Fiscal Decentralization: Failures of Tiebout Competition," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 79(3), pages 1081-1111.
    7. Darlene C. Chisholm & George Norman, 2006. "When to Exit a Product: Evidence from the U. S. Motion-Picture Exhibition Market," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 96(2), pages 57-61, May.
    8. Sigrid Roehrs & David Stadelmann, 2010. "Mobility and local income redistribution," Working Papers 2010/4, Institut d'Economia de Barcelona (IEB).
    9. Brülhart, Marius & Bucovetsky, Sam & Schmidheiny, Kurt, 2015. "Taxes in Cities," Handbook of Regional and Urban Economics, Elsevier.
    10. Kuhlmey, Florian, 2017. "Local income tax competition with progressive taxes and a fiscal equalization scheme," Working papers 2017/17, Faculty of Business and Economics - University of Basel.
    11. Schaltegger, Christoph A. & Somogyi, Frank & Sturm, Jan-Egbert, 2011. "Tax competition and income sorting: Evidence from the Zurich metropolitan area," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 27(3), pages 455-470, September.
    12. Benoît Schmutz, 2012. "Public Housing Quotas and Segregation," AMSE Working Papers 1228, Aix-Marseille School of Economics, Marseille, France.
    13. Gravel, Nicolas & Oddou, Rémy, 2014. "The segregative properties of endogenous jurisdiction formation with a land market," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 117(C), pages 15-27.
    14. Darlene Chisholm & Margaret McMillan & George Norman, 2010. "Product differentiation and film-programming choice: do first-run movie theatres show the same films?," Journal of Cultural Economics, Springer;The Association for Cultural Economics International, vol. 34(2), pages 131-145, May.
    15. Marcus Roller & Kurt Schmidheiny, 2014. "Mobility and Progressive Taxation," ERSA conference papers ersa14p1354, European Regional Science Association.
    16. Monkkonen, Paavo & Zhang, Xiaohu, 2014. "Innovative measurement of spatial segregation: Comparative evidence from Hong Kong and San Francisco," Regional Science and Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 47(C), pages 99-111.
    17. Ioannides, Yannis M. & Soetevent, Adriaan R., 2007. "Social networking and individual outcomes beyond the mean field case," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 64(3-4), pages 369-390.
    18. Roland Hodler & Kurt Schmidheiny, 2006. "How Fiscal Decentralization Flattens Progressive Taxes," FinanzArchiv: Public Finance Analysis, Mohr Siebeck, Tübingen, vol. 62(2), pages 281-304, June.
    19. Christoph Basten & Maximilian von Ehrlich & Andrea Lassmann, 2014. "Income Taxes, Sorting, and the Costs of Housing," KOF Working papers 14-362, KOF Swiss Economic Institute, ETH Zurich.
    20. repec:wly:econjl:v::y:2017:i:601:p:653-687 is not listed on IDEAS

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Income Segregation; Income Sorting; Fiscal Decentralization; Income Taxation; Local Public Goods;

    JEL classification:

    • H71 - Public Economics - - State and Local Government; Intergovernmental Relations - - - State and Local Taxation, Subsidies, and Revenue
    • H73 - Public Economics - - State and Local Government; Intergovernmental Relations - - - Interjurisdictional Differentials and Their Effects
    • R13 - Urban, Rural, Regional, Real Estate, and Transportation Economics - - General Regional Economics - - - General Equilibrium and Welfare Economic Analysis of Regional Economies

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