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Local Government Taxing, Spending and Economic Growth: New Evidence for Wisconsin

  • STEVEN C. DELLER

    ()

  • Victor Lledo

    ()

Wisconsin is generally viewed as a high tax state. Depending on how one measures tax burdens, Wisconsin's rankings range from either the top five, or right in the middle of the national average. While these rankings have always been a source of discussion in Wisconsin, the state's current budget deficit, and the proposed solutions, has renewed the public debate about Wisconsin's fiscal policies with a vengeance. Accusations of duplication of services, higher costs inherent to the small scale of operation and a general tendency to be "big spenders" have created a firestorm of controversy. Further, a range of business support organizations has renewed yet again the call for tax reductions in the name of economic growth. In this applied research study we again ask the fundamental question "are Wisconsin local taxes too high" but we address the research question from a slightly different direction. Rather than looking at local property values and corresponding tax generating abilities, we measure the influence of local spending and taxation decisions on local economic growth. If local spending and taxation levels are indeed too high, we should see a dampening affect on local economic growth rates.

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Paper provided by Wisconsin-Madison Agricultural and Applied Economics Department in its series Wisconsin-Madison Agricultural and Applied Economics Staff Papers with number 447.

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Length: 36 pages
Date of creation: Apr 2002
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:wop:wisaes:447
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  1. Mofidi, Alaeddin & Stone, Joe A, 1990. "Do State and Local Taxes Affect Economic Growth?," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 72(4), pages 686-91, November.
  2. Mendoza, Enrique G. & Milesi-Ferretti, Gian Maria & Asea, Patrick, 1997. "On the ineffectiveness of tax policy in altering long-run growth: Harberger's superneutrality conjecture," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 66(1), pages 99-126, October.
  3. Alesina, Alberto & Rodrik, Dani, 1994. "Distributive Politics and Economic Growth," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 109(2), pages 465-90, May.
  4. Chamley, Christophe, 1986. "Optimal Taxation of Capital Income in General Equilibrium with Infinite Lives," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 54(3), pages 607-22, May.
  5. Timothy J. Bartik, 2003. "Local Economic Development Policies," Upjohn Working Papers and Journal Articles 03-91, W.E. Upjohn Institute for Employment Research.
  6. Swan, Trevor W, 2002. "Economic Growth," The Economic Record, The Economic Society of Australia, vol. 78(243), pages 375-80, December.
  7. Timothy J. Bartik, 2004. "Economic Development," Book chapters authored by Upjohn Institute researchers, in: J. Richard Aronson & Eli Schwartz (ed.), Managememnt Policies in Local Government Finance, pages 355-390 W.E. Upjohn Institute for Employment Research.
  8. Devarajan, Shantayanan & Swaroop, Vinaya & Heng-fu, Zou, 1996. "The composition of public expenditure and economic growth," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 37(2-3), pages 313-344, April.
  9. Brock,W.A. & Durlauf,S.N., 2000. "Growth economics and reality," Working papers 24, Wisconsin Madison - Social Systems.
  10. Shields, Martin & Deller, Steven C. & Stallmann, Judith I., 2001. "Comparing The Impacts Of Retiree Versus Working-Age Families On A Small Rural Region: An Application Of The Wisconsin Economic Impact Modeling System," Agricultural and Resource Economics Review, Northeastern Agricultural and Resource Economics Association, vol. 30(1), April.
  11. Kristin J. Forbes, 2000. "A Reassessment of the Relationship between Inequality and Growth," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 90(4), pages 869-887, September.
  12. T. W. Swan, 1956. "ECONOMIC GROWTH and CAPITAL ACCUMULATION," The Economic Record, The Economic Society of Australia, vol. 32(2), pages 334-361, November.
  13. Kneller, Richard & Bleaney, Michael F. & Gemmell, Norman, 1999. "Fiscal policy and growth: evidence from OECD countries," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 74(2), pages 171-190, November.
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