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Business taxation and economic performance in hierarchical government structures

This paper models theoretically and investigates empirically the consequences on local economic performance of state mandates on financially distressed authorities. In particular, I analyze the switch from systematic state bailout of regional health care deficits to selectively mandated hikes in regions’ own business income tax rates that took place in Italy around the mid 2000s, and exploit such dramatic switch to identify the impact of tax policy on the economy. I model factor input use within a multi-jurisdiction neoclassical framework, where production takes place in plants, and physical capital requires energy in fixed proportions depending on the size of energy-saving capital that is installed along with physical capital. Energy-saving capital can be interpreted either as tangible information technology (IT) equipment (e.g., computer-aided line speed control devices) or as intangible assets (e.g., process design skills) lowering a plant energy requirement. The estimation results based on panel data for the Italian provinces and regions over a decade (2000-2010) reveal that, by raising the user cost of capital, mandated business income tax hikes stimulate province-level business energy use, lending support to the hypothesis of short run substitution between energy and energy-saving capital, and hamper the employment of human resources in science and technology (S&T) occupations, the latter being interpretable as a proxy for energy-saving capital

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Paper provided by University of Turin in its series Department of Economics and Statistics Cognetti de Martiis. Working Papers with number 201204.

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Length: 34 pages
Date of creation: Apr 2012
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:uto:dipeco:201204
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  20. Per Krusell & Lee E. Ohanian & JosÈ-Victor RÌos-Rull & Giovanni L. Violante, 2000. "Capital-Skill Complementarity and Inequality: A Macroeconomic Analysis," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 68(5), pages 1029-1054, September.
  21. Austan Goolsbee, 1998. "Investment Tax Incentives, Prices, and the Supply of Capital Goods," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 113(1), pages 121-148.
  22. Nechyba, Thomas J, 1997. "Local Property and State Income Taxes: The Role of Interjurisdictional Competition and Collusion," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 105(2), pages 351-84, April.
  23. James R. Markusen, 1995. "The Boundaries of Multinational Enterprises and the Theory of International Trade," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 9(2), pages 169-189, Spring.
  24. Tediosi, Fabrizio & Gabriele, Stefania & Longo, Francesco, 2009. "Governing decentralization in health care under tough budget constraint: What can we learn from the Italian experience?," Health Policy, Elsevier, vol. 90(2-3), pages 303-312, May.
  25. Massimo Bordignon & Silvia Giannini & Paolo Panteghini, 2001. "Reforming Business Taxation: Lessons from Italy?," International Tax and Public Finance, Springer;International Institute of Public Finance, vol. 8(2), pages 191-210, March.
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  27. Stephen Calabrese & Dennis Epple, 2010. "On the political economy of tax limits," Working Papers 2010/14, Institut d'Economia de Barcelona (IEB).
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