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Identifying local tax mimicking: Administrative borders and a policy reform

  • Baskaran, Thushyanthan

This paper exploits an exogenous reform of the local fiscal equalization scheme in the German State of North Rhine-Westphalia to identify tax mimicking by municipalities in the neighboring state of Lower Saxony. The spatial lag regressions provide no evidence for the existence of strategic interactions in municipal business and property taxes. In contrast, traditional spatial lag regressions that rely on variation in neighbors' demographic, political, or economic characteristics for identification provide strong evidence for strategic interactions. This pattern of results indicates that most of the extant literature overestimates the importance of local tax mimicking.

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Paper provided by University of Goettingen, Department of Economics in its series Center for European, Governance and Economic Development Research Discussion Papers with number 157.

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Date of creation: 2013
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Handle: RePEc:zbw:cegedp:157
Contact details of provider: Postal: Platz der Göttinger Sieben 3, 37073 Göttingen
Web page: http://www.cege.wiso.uni-goettingen.de/

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  1. Timothy Besley & Anne Case, 1992. "Incumbent Behavior: Vote Seeking, Tax Setting and Yardstick Competition," NBER Working Papers 4041, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. Teemu Lyytikäinen, 2011. "Tax competition among local governments: evidence from a property tax reform in Finland," Working Papers 26, Government Institute for Economic Research Finland (VATT).
  3. Federico Revelli, 2005. "On Spatial Public Finance Empirics," International Tax and Public Finance, Springer, vol. 12(4), pages 475-492, August.
  4. Eugster, Beatrix & Parchet, Raphaël, 2013. "Culture and Taxes: Towards Identifying Tax Competition," Economics Working Paper Series 1339, University of St. Gallen, School of Economics and Political Science.
  5. Wilson, John Douglas & Wildasin, David E., 2004. "Capital tax competition: bane or boon," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 88(6), pages 1065-1091, June.
  6. Sebastian Hauptmeier & Ferdinand Mittermaier & Johannes Rincke, 2008. "Fiscal Competition over Taxes and Public Inputs: Theory and Evidence," CESifo Working Paper Series 2499, CESifo Group Munich.
  7. Steve Gibbons & Henry G. Overman, 2010. "Mostly pointless spatial econometrics?," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 33559, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
  8. Lars P. Feld & Emmanuelle Reulier, 2009. "Strategic Tax Competition in Switzerland: Evidence from a Panel of the Swiss Cantons," German Economic Review, Verein für Socialpolitik, vol. 10, pages 91-114, 02.
  9. Bordignon, Massimo & Cerniglia, Floriana & Revelli, Federico, 2003. "In search of yardstick competition: a spatial analysis of Italian municipality property tax setting," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 54(2), pages 199-217, September.
  10. Michael Smart, 2007. "Raising Taxes through Equalization," CESifo Working Paper Series 1926, CESifo Group Munich.
  11. Heyndels, Bruno & Vuchelen, Jef, 1998. "Tax Mimicking Among Belgian Municipalities," National Tax Journal, National Tax Association, vol. 51(n. 1), pages 89-101, March.
  12. Michael J. Keen & Christos Kotsogiannis, 2002. "Does Federalism Lead to Excessively High Taxes?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 92(1), pages 363-370, March.
  13. Egger, Peter & Koethenbuerger, Marko & Smart, Michael, 2010. "Do fiscal transfers alleviate business tax competition? Evidence from Germany," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 94(3-4), pages 235-246, April.
  14. Schaltegger, Christoph A & Kuttel, Dominique, 2002. " Exit, Voice, and Mimicking Behavior: Evidence from Swiss Cantons," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 113(1-2), pages 1-23, October.
  15. John Wilson & Eckhard Janeba, 2003. "Decentralization and International Tax Competition," CESifo Working Paper Series 854, CESifo Group Munich.
  16. Zodrow, George R. & Mieszkowski, Peter, 1986. "Pigou, Tiebout, property taxation, and the underprovision of local public goods," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 19(3), pages 356-370, May.
  17. Maarten Allers & J. Elhorst, 2005. "Tax Mimicking and Yardstick Competition Among Local Governments in the Netherlands," International Tax and Public Finance, Springer, vol. 12(4), pages 493-513, August.
  18. 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.
  19. Christian Kelders & Marko Koethenbuerger, 2010. "Tax incentives in fiscal federalism: an integrated perspective," Canadian Journal of Economics, Canadian Economics Association, vol. 43(2), pages 683-703, May.
  20. Baskaran, Thushyanthan, 2012. "The flypaper effect: evidence from a natural experiment in Hesse," MPRA Paper 37144, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  21. Wilson, John Douglas, 1999. "Theories of Tax Competition," National Tax Journal, National Tax Association, vol. 52(n. 2), pages 269-304, June.
  22. Charles M. Tiebout, 1956. "A Pure Theory of Local Expenditures," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 64, pages 416.
  23. Matthieu Leprince & Thierry Madiès & Sonia Paty, 2007. "Business Tax Interactions Among Local Governments: An Empirical Analysis Of The French Case," Journal of Regional Science, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 47(3), pages 603-621.
  24. Federico Revelli, 2001. "Spatial patterns in local taxation: tax mimicking or error mimicking?," Applied Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 33(9), pages 1101-1107.
  25. Wilson, John D., 1986. "A theory of interregional tax competition," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 19(3), pages 296-315, May.
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