IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/p/upf/upfgen/1062.html
   My bibliography  Save this paper

Do agglomeration economies reduce the sensitivity of firm location to tax differentials?

Author

Listed:
  • Marius Brülhart
  • Mario Jametti
  • Kurt Schmidheiny

Abstract

Low corporate taxes can help attract new firms. This is the main mechanism underpinning the standard 'race-to-the-bottom'view of tax competition. A recent theoretical literature has qualified this view by formalizing the argument that agglomeration forces can reduce firms' sensitivity to tax differentials across locations. We test this proposition using data on firm startups across Swiss municipalities. We find that, on average, high corporate income taxes do deter new firms, but that this relationship is significantly weaker in the most spatially concentrated sectors. Location choices of firms in sectors with an agglomeration intensity at the twentieth percentile of the sample distribution are estimated to be twice as responsive to a given difference in local corporate tax burdens as firms in sectors with an agglomeration intensity at the eightieth percentile. Hence, our analysis confirms the theoretical prediction: agglomeration economies can neutralize the impact of tax differentials on firms' location choices.

Suggested Citation

  • Marius Brülhart & Mario Jametti & Kurt Schmidheiny, 2007. "Do agglomeration economies reduce the sensitivity of firm location to tax differentials?," Economics Working Papers 1062, Department of Economics and Business, Universitat Pompeu Fabra.
  • Handle: RePEc:upf:upfgen:1062
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: https://econ-papers.upf.edu/papers/1062.pdf
    File Function: Whole Paper
    Download Restriction: no
    ---><---

    Other versions of this item:

    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Paulo Guimarães & Octávio Figueirdo & Douglas Woodward, 2003. "A Tractable Approach to the Firm Location Decision Problem," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 85(1), pages 201-204, February.
    2. Crozet, Matthieu & Mayer, Thierry & Mucchielli, Jean-Louis, 2004. "How do firms agglomerate? A study of FDI in France," Regional Science and Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 34(1), pages 27-54, January.
    3. Randy Becker & Vernon Henderson, 2000. "Effects of Air Quality Regulations on Polluting Industries," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 108(2), pages 379-421, April.
    4. Ludema, Rodney D. & Wooton, Ian, 2000. "Economic geography and the fiscal effects of regional integration," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 52(2), pages 331-357, December.
    5. Ottaviano, Gianmarco I.P. & van Ypersele, Tanguy, 2005. "Market size and tax competition," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 67(1), pages 25-46, September.
    6. Gilles Duranton & Laurent Gobillon & Henry G. Overman, 2011. "Assessing the Effects of Local Taxation using Microgeographic Data," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 121(555), pages 1017-1046, September.
    7. Burbidge, John & Cuff, Katherine, 2005. "Capital tax competition and returns to scale," Regional Science and Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 35(4), pages 353-373, July.
    8. de Mooij, Ruud A & Ederveen, Sjef, 2003. "Taxation and Foreign Direct Investment: A Synthesis of Empirical Research," International Tax and Public Finance, Springer;International Institute of Public Finance, vol. 10(6), pages 673-693, November.
    9. Borck, Rainald & Pfluger, Michael, 2006. "Agglomeration and tax competition," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 50(3), pages 647-668, April.
    10. Signe Krogstrup, 2008. "Standard Tax Competition and Increasing Returns," Journal of Public Economic Theory, Association for Public Economic Theory, vol. 10(4), pages 547-561, August.
    11. Hines, James R. Jr., 1999. "Lessons From Behavioral Responses to International Taxation," National Tax Journal, National Tax Association;National Tax Journal, vol. 52(2), pages 305-322, June.
    12. Paulo Guimarães & Octávio Figueiredo & Douglas Woodward, 2004. "Industrial Location Modeling: Extending the Random Utility Framework," Journal of Regional Science, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 44(1), pages 1-20, February.
    13. Devereux, Michael P. & Griffith, Rachel & Simpson, Helen, 2007. "Firm location decisions, regional grants and agglomeration externalities," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 91(3-4), pages 413-435, April.
    14. Papke, Leslie E., 1991. "Interstate business tax differentials and new firm location : Evidence from panel data," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 45(1), pages 47-68, June.
    15. Wilson, John Douglas, 1999. "Theories of Tax Competition," National Tax Journal, National Tax Association;National Tax Journal, vol. 52(2), pages 269-304, June.
    16. Ruud de Mooij & S. Ederveen, 2001. "Taxation and foreign direct investment; a synthesis of empirical research," CPB Discussion Paper 3, CPB Netherlands Bureau for Economic Policy Analysis.
    17. Ellison, Glenn & Glaeser, Edward L, 1997. "Geographic Concentration in U.S. Manufacturing Industries: A Dartboard Approach," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 105(5), pages 889-927, October.
    18. Baldwin, Richard E. & Krugman, Paul, 2004. "Agglomeration, integration and tax harmonisation," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 48(1), pages 1-23, February.
    19. Holl, Adelheid, 2004. "Manufacturing location and impacts of road transport infrastructure: empirical evidence from Spain," Regional Science and Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 34(3), pages 341-363, May.
    20. Figueiredo, Octavio & Guimaraes, Paulo & Woodward, Douglas, 2002. "Home-field advantage: location decisions of Portuguese entrepreneurs," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 52(2), pages 341-361, September.
    21. Fredrik Andersson & Rikard Forslid, 2003. "Tax Competition and Economic Geography," Journal of Public Economic Theory, Association for Public Economic Theory, vol. 5(2), pages 279-303, April.
    22. Keith Head & Thierry Mayer, 2004. "Market Potential and the Location of Japanese Investment in the European Union," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 86(4), pages 959-972, November.
    23. Jordi Jofre-Montseny & Albert Solé-Ollé, 2007. "Tax differentials and agglomeration economies in intraregional firm location," Working Papers XREAP2007-05, Xarxa de Referència en Economia Aplicada (XREAP), revised Jun 2007.
    24. Guimaraes, Paulo & Figueiredo, Octavio & Woodward, Douglas, 2000. "Agglomeration and the Location of Foreign Direct Investment in Portugal," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 47(1), pages 115-135, January.
    25. Kind, Hans Jarle & Knarvik, Karen Helene Midelfart & Schjelderup, Guttorm, 2000. "Competing for capital in a 'lumpy' world," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 78(3), pages 253-274, November.
    26. Wooldridge, Jeffrey M., 1999. "Distribution-free estimation of some nonlinear panel data models," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 90(1), pages 77-97, May.
    27. Sylvie Charlot & Sonia Paty, 2007. "Market access effect and local tax setting: evidence from French panel data," Journal of Economic Geography, Oxford University Press, vol. 7(3), pages 247-263, May.
    28. Jordi Jofre Monseny & Alberto Sole Olle, 2007. "Tax Differentials and Agglomeration Economies in Intraregional Firm Location," Working Papers in Economics 180, Universitat de Barcelona. Espai de Recerca en Economia.
    29. Feld, Lars P. & Kirchgassner, Gebhard, 2003. "The impact of corporate and personal income taxes on the location of firms and on employment: some panel evidence for the Swiss cantons," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 87(1), pages 129-155, January.
    30. Jordi Jofre-Montseny & Albert Solé-Ollé, 2007. "Tax differentials and agglomeration economies in intraregional firm location," Working Papers XREAP2007-05, Xarxa de Referència en Economia Aplicada (XREAP), revised Jun 2007.
    31. Carlton, Dennis W, 1983. "The Location and Employment Choices of New Firms: An Econometric Model with Discrete and Continuous Endogenous Variables," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 65(3), pages 440-449, August.
    32. J. M. C. Santos Silva & Silvana Tenreyro, 2006. "The Log of Gravity," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 88(4), pages 641-658, November.
    33. Peter Sørensen, 2004. "Company Tax Reform in the European Union," International Tax and Public Finance, Springer;International Institute of Public Finance, vol. 11(1), pages 91-115, January.
    34. Fernandez, Gonzalo E., 2005. "A note on tax competition in the presence of agglomeration economies," Regional Science and Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 35(6), pages 837-847, November.
    35. Jordi Jofre-Monseny & Albert Solé-Ollé, 2007. "Tax differentials and agglomeration economies in intraregional firm location," Working Papers 2007/2, Institut d'Economia de Barcelona (IEB).
    36. Hines, James R. Jr., 1999. "Lessons from Behavioral Responses to International Taxation," National Tax Journal, National Tax Association, vol. 52(n. 2), pages 305-22, June.
    37. List, John A., 2001. "US county-level determinants of inbound FDI: evidence from a two-step modified count data model," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, vol. 19(6), pages 953-973, May.
    38. Wilson, John Douglas, 1999. "Theories of Tax Competition," National Tax Journal, National Tax Association, vol. 52(n. 2), pages 269-304, June.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    Most related items

    These are the items that most often cite the same works as this one and are cited by the same works as this one.
    1. Brülhart, Marius & Bucovetsky, Sam & Schmidheiny, Kurt, 2015. "Taxes in Cities," Handbook of Regional and Urban Economics, in: Gilles Duranton & J. V. Henderson & William C. Strange (ed.), Handbook of Regional and Urban Economics, edition 1, volume 5, chapter 0, pages 1123-1196, Elsevier.
    2. Marius Brülhart & Kurt Schmidheiny, 2015. "Estimating The Rivalness Of State-Level Inward Fdi," Journal of Regional Science, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 55(1), pages 139-148, January.
    3. 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.
    4. Marius Brülhart & Kurt Schmidheiny, 2015. "Estimating The Rivalness Of State-Level Inward Fdi," Journal of Regional Science, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 55(1), pages 139-148, January.
    5. Megha Mukim & Peter Nunnenkamp, 2012. "The Location Choices of Foreign Investors: A District-level Analysis in India," The World Economy, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 35(7), pages 886-918, July.
    6. Schmidheiny, Kurt & Brülhart, Marius, 2011. "On the equivalence of location choice models: Conditional logit, nested logit and Poisson," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 69(2), pages 214-222, March.
    7. 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.
    8. Sandy Fréret & Denis Maguain, 2017. "The effects of agglomeration on tax competition: evidence from a two-regime spatial panel model on French data," International Tax and Public Finance, Springer;International Institute of Public Finance, vol. 24(6), pages 1100-1140, December.
    9. Becker, Sascha O. & Egger, Peter H. & Merlo, Valeria, 2012. "How low business tax rates attract MNE activity: Municipality-level evidence from Germany," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 96(9-10), pages 698-711.
    10. Marius Brülhart & Helen Simpson, 2018. "Agglomeration economies, taxable rents and government capture: evidence from a place-based policy," Journal of Economic Geography, Oxford University Press, vol. 18(2), pages 319-353.
    11. Karen Crabbé & Karolien De Bruyne, 2013. "Taxes, Agglomeration Rents and Location Decisions of Firms," De Economist, Springer, vol. 161(4), pages 421-446, December.
    12. Jordi Jofre Monseny & Alberto Sole Olle, 2007. "Tax Differentials and Agglomeration Economies in Intraregional Firm Location," Working Papers in Economics 180, Universitat de Barcelona. Espai de Recerca en Economia.
    13. Jordi Jofre-Monseny, 2010. "Is agglomeration taxable?," Working Papers 2010/15, Institut d'Economia de Barcelona (IEB).
    14. Krautheim, Sebastian & Schmidt-Eisenlohr, Tim, 2011. "Heterogeneous firms, 'profit shifting' FDI and international tax competition," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 95(1-2), pages 122-133, February.
    15. Pasquale Commendatore & Ingrid Kubin, 2016. "Source versus residence: A comparison from a new economic geography perspective," Papers in Regional Science, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 95(2), pages 201-222, June.
    16. Haufler, Andreas & Wooton, Ian, 2006. "The effects of regional tax and subsidy coordination on foreign direct investment," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 50(2), pages 285-305, February.
    17. Josep‐Maria Arauzo‐Carod & Daniel Liviano‐Solis & Miguel Manjón‐Antolín, 2010. "Empirical Studies In Industrial Location: An Assessment Of Their Methods And Results," Journal of Regional Science, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 50(3), pages 685-711, August.
    18. Jordi Jofre-Monseny, 2010. "Is agglomeration taxable?," Working Papers 2010/15, Institut d'Economia de Barcelona (IEB).
    19. Rainald Borck & Hyun‐Ju Koh & Michael Pflüger, 2012. "Inefficient Lock‐In And Subsidy Competition," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 53(4), pages 1179-1204, November.
    20. Nelly Exbrayat, 2008. "The Impact of Trade Integration and Agglomeration Economies on Tax Interactions : Evidence from OECD Countries," Post-Print hal-00270067, HAL.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Firm location; agglomeration economies; local taxation; count models; Switzerland;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • R3 - Urban, Rural, Regional, Real Estate, and Transportation Economics - - Real Estate Markets, Spatial Production Analysis, and Firm Location
    • H32 - Public Economics - - Fiscal Policies and Behavior of Economic Agents - - - Firm

    NEP fields

    This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:

    Statistics

    Access and download statistics

    Corrections

    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:upf:upfgen:1062. 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: . General contact details of provider: http://www.econ.upf.edu/ .

    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 CitEc recognized a bibliographic reference but did not link an item in RePEc 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 RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: The email address of this maintainer does not seem to be valid anymore. Please ask the person in charge to update the entry or send us the correct address (email available below). General contact details of provider: http://www.econ.upf.edu/ .

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

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.