IDEAS home Printed from
MyIDEAS: Login to save this paper or follow this series

Decentralization, competition and the local tax mix: Evidence from Flanders

While numerous studies analyse the determinants of the level and composition of local public spending, little attention has been given to what shapes the choice of tax instruments used by decentralised governments. This paper bridges this gap by investigating the economic and political determinants of the local tax mix in the Flemish region of Belgium, where local governments enjoy extensive fiscal autonomy and have a wide variety of tax instruments available. Specifically, using panel data of 289 Flemish municipalities over the period 1995-2002, we estimate a system of five reduced-form tax revenue-share equations (income, property, business, user fees and other own revenues). The analysis highlights a number of important economic determinants of the observed tax mix (especially the tax base and revenue requirement), while political variables turn out to play a relatively minor role. Finally, the analysis uncovers virtually no evidence of inter-municipal dependence in the determination of the local tax mix.

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:
Download Restriction: no

Paper provided by University of Turin in its series Department of Economics and Statistics Cognetti de Martiis. Working Papers with number 200902.

in new window

Length: 21 pages
Date of creation: Jan 2009
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:uto:dipeco:200902
Contact details of provider: Postal: Lungo Dora Siena 100, I-10153 Torino
Phone: +39 011670 4406
Fax: +39 011670 3895
Web page:

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. Lawrence Kenny & Stanley Winer, 2006. "Tax Systems in the World: An Empirical Investigation into the Importance of Tax Bases, Administration Costs, Scale and Political Regime," International Tax and Public Finance, Springer, vol. 13(2), pages 181-215, May.
  2. Jon Fiva & Jørn Rattsø, 2007. "Local choice of property taxation: evidence from Norway," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 132(3), pages 457-470, September.
  3. Hettich, Walter & Winer, Stanley, 1984. "A positive model of tax structure," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 24(1), pages 67-87, June.
  4. SALMON, Pierre, 1987. "Decentralization as an incentive scheme," Institut des Mathématiques Economiques – Document de travail de l’I.M.E. (1974-1993) 98, Institut des Mathématiques Economiques. LATEC, Laboratoire d'Analyse et des Techniques EConomiques, CNRS, Université de Bourgogne.
  5. John Ashworth & Benny Geys & Bruno Heyndels, 2005. "Government Weakness and Local Public Debt Development in Flemish Municipalities," International Tax and Public Finance, Springer, vol. 12(4), pages 395-422, August.
  6. Heyndels, Bruno & Vuchelen, Jef, 1998. "Tax Mimicking Among Belgian Municipalities," National Tax Journal, National Tax Association, vol. 51(n. 1), pages 89-101, March.
  7. Svaleryd, Helena, 2002. "Femal Representation - Is it Important for Policy Decisions?," Research Papers in Economics 2002:7, Stockholm University, Department of Economics.
  8. Patricia Funk & Christina Gathmann, 2008. "Gender gaps in policy making: Evidence from direct democracy in Switzerland," Economics Working Papers 1126, Department of Economics and Business, Universitat Pompeu Fabra.
  9. Per Tovmo, 2007. "Budgetary Procedures and Deficits in Norwegian Local Governments," Economics of Governance, Springer, vol. 8(1), pages 37-49, January.
  10. Geys, Benny, 2006. "Looking across borders: A test of spatial policy interdependence using local government efficiency ratings," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 60(3), pages 443-462, November.
  11. Stijn Goeminne & Benny Geys & Carine Smolders, 2008. "Political fragmentation and projected tax revenues: evidence from Flemish municipalities," International Tax and Public Finance, Springer, vol. 15(3), pages 297-315, June.
  12. Winer, Stanley L. & Hettich, Walter, 1991. "Debt and tariffs : An empirical investigation of the evolution of revenue systems," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 45(2), pages 215-242, July.
  13. Eggert, Wolfgang & Haufler, Andreas, 1999. "Capital taxation and production efficiency in an open economy," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 62(1), pages 85-90, January.
  14. Revelli, Federico & Tovmo, Per, 2007. "Revealed yardstick competition: Local government efficiency patterns in Norway," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 62(1), pages 121-134, July.
  15. Clemens Fuest & Bernd Huber & Jack Mintz, 2003. "Capital Mobility and Tax Competition: A Survey," CESifo Working Paper Series 956, CESifo Group Munich.
  16. Lena Edlund & Rohini Pande, 2002. "Why Have Women Become Left-Wing? The Political Gender Gap and the Decline in Marriage," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 117(3), pages 917-961.
  17. Werck, Kristien & Heyndels, Bruno & Geys, Benny, 2007. "The impact of central places on spatial spending patterns: evidence from Flemish local government cultural expenditures
    [Der Einfluss ‘Zentraler Orte’ auf räumliche Ausgabenmuster: eine empirische
    ," Discussion Papers, Research Unit: Market Processes and Governance SP II 2007-10, Social Science Research Center Berlin (WZB).
  18. Jean-François, RICHARD & Henry, TULKENS & Magali, Verdonck, 2005. "Tax interaction dynamics among Belgian municipalities, 1984-1997," Discussion Papers (ECON - Département des Sciences Economiques) 2005039, Université catholique de Louvain, Département des Sciences Economiques.
  19. Hettich,Walter & Winer,Stanley L., 1999. "Democratic Choice and Taxation," Cambridge Books, Cambridge University Press, number 9780521622912.
  20. John R. Lott & Jr. & Lawrence W. Kenny, 1999. "Did Women's Suffrage Change the Size and Scope of Government?," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 107(6), pages 1163-1198, December.
  21. Federico Revelli, 2005. "On Spatial Public Finance Empirics," International Tax and Public Finance, Springer, vol. 12(4), pages 475-492, August.
  22. Gordon, Roger H, 1986. "Taxation of Investment and Savings in a World Economy," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 76(5), pages 1086-1102, December.
  23. Bucovetsky, Sam & Wilson, John Douglas, 1991. "Tax competition with two tax instruments," Regional Science and Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 21(3), pages 333-350, November.
  24. Ashworth, John & Geys, Benny & Heyndels, Bruno, 2006. "Determinants of tax innovation: The case of environmental taxes in Flemish municipalities," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 22(1), pages 223-247, March.
  25. Jan Vermeir & Bruno Heyndels, 2006. "Tax policy and yardstick voting in Flemish municipal elections," Applied Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 38(19), pages 2285-2298.
  26. Rohini Pande, 2003. "Can Mandated Political Representation Increase Policy Influence for Disadvantaged Minorities? Theory and Evidence from India," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 93(4), pages 1132-1151, September.
  27. Hettich, Walter & Winer, Stanley L, 1988. "Economic and Political Foundations of Tax Structure," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 78(4), pages 701-12, September.
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:uto:dipeco:200902. 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: (Piero Cavaleri)

or (Marina Grazioli)

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.