Property taxation as incentive for cost control: Empirical evidence for utility services in Norway
Cost control in the public sector is a challenge for political institutions. Theoretical research recently has shown incentive effects of property taxation that can work as a mechanism to hold costs down. We are able to investigate the empirical relevance of this proposition, since local governments in Norway represent a kind of natural experiment where about 30% of them have residential property tax. The framework of the analysis is a bureau producing public services for the local government, and control of slack is related to the budget constraint of the bureau. High costs are understood as the result of an agency problem. In a stylized model of this interaction, we show that property taxation increases the local government budget responsiveness to higher costs if housing demand is not ‘too’ elastic. Both complimentarity between service supply and housing demand and migration equilibrium contribute to the negative relationship hypothesized between the property tax base and the reported costs of the bureau. The econometric analysis confirms significant differences in unit costs dependent on tax structure. Existence of property taxation seems to help overcome the agency problem and reduce costs. The potential problems of endogeneity of the choice of property taxation and unequal comparisons are handled with instrument variables and matching.
|Date of creation:||Aug 2003|
|Date of revision:|
|Contact details of provider:|| Postal: Welthandelsplatz 1, 1020 Vienna, Austria|
Web page: http://www.ersa.org
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.:
- Lars-Erik Borge & Linn Renée Naper, 2005.
"Efficiency potential and efficiency variation in Norwegian lower secondary schools,"
Working Paper Series
6205, Department of Economics, Norwegian University of Science and Technology.
- Lars-Erik Borge & Linn Renée Naper, 2006. "Efficiency Potential and Efficiency Variation in Norwegian Lower Secondary Schools," FinanzArchiv: Public Finance Analysis, Mohr Siebeck, Tübingen, vol. 62(2), pages 221-249, June.
- Lars-Erik Borge & Linn Renée Naper, 2005. "Efficiency Potential and Efficiency Variation in Norwegian Lower Secondary Schools," CESifo Working Paper Series 1624, CESifo Group Munich.
- Fischel, William A., 2001. "Homevoters, Municipal Corporate Governance, and the Benefit View of the Property Tax," National Tax Journal, National Tax Association, vol. 54(n. 1), pages 157-74, March.
- Sascha O. Becker & Andrea Ichino, 2002. "Estimation of average treatment effects based on propensity scores," Stata Journal, StataCorp LP, vol. 2(4), pages 358-377, November.
- Borge, Lars-Erik & Rattso, J.Jorn, 2004. "Income distribution and tax structure: Empirical test of the Meltzer-Richard hypothesis," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 48(4), pages 805-826, August.
- James M. Poterba, 1993.
"State Responses to Fiscal Crisis: The Effects of Budgetary Institutionsand Politics,"
NBER Working Papers
4375, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Poterba, James M, 1994. "State Responses to Fiscal Crises: The Effects of Budgetary Institutions and Politics," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 102(4), pages 799-821, August.
- James M. Poterba, 1996.
"Demographic Structure and the Political Economy of Public Education,"
NBER Working Papers
5677, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- James M. Poterba, 1997. "Demographic structure and the political economy of public education," Journal of Policy Analysis and Management, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 16(1), pages 48-66.
- 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.
- Niskanen, William A, 1975. "Bureaucrats and Politicians," Journal of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 18(3), pages 617-43, December.
- Brennan,Geoffrey & Buchanan,James M., 1980.
"The Power to Tax,"
Cambridge University Press, number 9780521233293, November.
- Cullis, J G & Jones, P R & Morrissey, O, 1991. "Public Choice Perspectives on the Poll Tax," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 101(406), pages 600-614, May.
- Persson, Torsten & Tabellini, Guido, 2002. "Do constitutions cause large governments? Quasi-experimental evidence," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 46(4-5), pages 908-918, May.
- Brennan, Geoffrey & Buchanan, James M., 1978. "Tax instruments as constraints on the disposition of public revenues," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 9(3), pages 301-318, June.
- Torsten Persson, 2001. "Currency unions and trade: how large is the treatment effect?," Economic Policy, CEPR;CES;MSH, vol. 16(33), pages 433-462, October.
- Jon Fiva & Jørn Rattsø, 2007. "Local choice of property taxation: evidence from Norway," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 132(3), pages 457-470, September.
- Lars-Erik Borge & Jørn Rattsø, 2005. "The Relationships between Cost and User Charges: The Case of the Norwegian Utility Service," FinanzArchiv: Public Finance Analysis, Mohr Siebeck, Tübingen, vol. 61(1), pages 98-, March.
- Roger H. Gordon & John D. Wilson, 1999. "Tax Structure and Government Behavior: Implications for Tax Policy," NBER Working Papers 7244, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Joshua D. Angrist, 1998.
"Estimating the Labor Market Impact of Voluntary Military Service Using Social Security Data on Military Applicants,"
Econometric Society, vol. 66(2), pages 249-288, March.
- Joshua D. Angrist, 1995. "Estimating the Labor Market Impact of Voluntary Military Service Using Social Security Data on Military Applicants," NBER Working Papers 5192, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Hoxby, Caroline M., 1999. "The productivity of schools and other local public goods producers," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 74(1), pages 1-30, October.
- Edward L. Glaeser, 1995.
"The Incentive Effects of Property Taxes on Local Governments,"
NBER Working Papers
4987, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Glaeser, Edward L, 1996. "The Incentive Effects of Property Taxes on Local Governments," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 89(1-2), pages 93-111, October.
- Lars-Erik Borge & Jørn Rattsø, 2003. "The Relationships Between Costs and User Charges: The Case of a Norwegian Utility Service," CESifo Working Paper Series 1033, CESifo Group Munich.
- Jon H. Fiva & Marte Rønning, 2006.
"The Incentive Effects of Property Taxation: Evidence from Norwegian School Districts,"
484, Statistics Norway, Research Department.
- Fiva, Jon H. & Rønning, Marte, 2008. "The incentive effects of property taxation: Evidence from Norwegian school districts," Regional Science and Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 38(1), pages 49-62, January.
- Roger H. Gordon & John D. Wilson, 2001.
NBER Working Papers
8189, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- 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.
- Falch, Torberg & Rattso, Jorn, 1999. "Local public choice of school spending: disaggregating the demand function for educational services," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 18(3), pages 361-373, June.
- John Joseph Wallis & Richard E. Sylla & John B. Legler, 1994. "The Interaction of Taxation and Regulation in Nineteenth-Century U.S. Banking," NBER Chapters, in: The Regulated Economy: A Historical Approach to Political Economy, pages 121-144 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Boadway, Robin & Horiba, Isao & Jha, Raghbendra, 1999. "The Provision of Public Services by Government Funded Decentralized Agencies," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 100(3-4), pages 157-84, September.
- Jorid Kalseth & Jørn Rattsø, 1998. "Political Control of Administrative Spending: The Case of Local Governments in Norway," Economics and Politics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 10(1), pages 63-83, 03.
When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:wiw:wiwrsa:ersa03p219. 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: (Gunther Maier)
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.