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Economic integration and interdependence of tax policy

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  • Holzmann, Carolin
  • von Schwerin, Axel

Abstract

This paper provides empirical evidence for interdependence of jurisdictions' tax policies. We study tax policy interdependence between municipalities in the economically integrated European Metropolitan Area Frankfurt/Rhein-Main, that spreads across two German states, Hesse, and Rhineland-Palatinate. For empirical identification, we exploit two reforms in the Hessian local fiscal equalization scheme in the 1990s that induced quasi-experimental variation in Hessian metropolitan municipalities' business tax rates. In response to the Hessian metropolitan municipalities' tax rate increase, Rhineland-Palatine metropolitan municipalities increase their local business tax rates more moderately as compared to a matched control group of Rhineland-Palatine non-metropolitan municipalities. We argue that primarily tax competition considerations drive the results, as the average tax-rate differential between metropolitan municipalities in Rhineland-Palatinate and Hesse stays stable during the analysis period. We conclude that an arguably strong economic integration of municipalities seems a key determinant for the interdependence of their tax policies.

Suggested Citation

  • Holzmann, Carolin & von Schwerin, Axel, 2015. "Economic integration and interdependence of tax policy," FAU Discussion Papers in Economics 14/2015, Friedrich-Alexander University Erlangen-Nuremberg, Institute for Economics.
  • Handle: RePEc:zbw:iwqwdp:142015
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    fiscal interdependence; tax mimicking; local business tax; tax competition; fiscal equalization schemes;

    JEL classification:

    • H20 - Public Economics - - Taxation, Subsidies, and Revenue - - - General
    • H71 - Public Economics - - State and Local Government; Intergovernmental Relations - - - State and Local Taxation, Subsidies, and Revenue
    • H77 - Public Economics - - State and Local Government; Intergovernmental Relations - - - Intergovernmental Relations; Federalism

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