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Fiscal externalities in local tax competition: empirical evidence from a panel of German jurisdictions

  • Buettner, Thiess

This paper is concerned with fiscal externalities arising from local taxation of a mobile factor. Using a panel of more 1100 local jurisdictions it provides empirical evidence on how the local tax rate as well as the tax rate in the neighborhood affect the local tax base. The results support the existence of fiscal externalities: an increase in the tax rate of local neighbors exerts a positive effect on the tax base whereas an increase of the own tax rate has a negative effect, and a joint increase of the tax rate at the local jurisdiction and in its neighborhood has no significant effect on the interjurisdictional distribution of the tax base. However, in the considered case tax competition is alleviated by revenue sharing rules which reduce the jurisdictions' incentive to lower tax rates in order to attract capital.

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Paper provided by ZEW - Zentrum für Europäische Wirtschaftsforschung / Center for European Economic Research in its series ZEW Discussion Papers with number 01-11.

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Date of creation: 2001
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Handle: RePEc:zbw:zewdip:5366
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  1. Michael Keen, 1998. "Vertical Tax Externalities in the Theory of Fiscal Federalism," IMF Staff Papers, Palgrave Macmillan, vol. 45(3), pages 454-485, September.
  2. Holtz-Eakin, Douglas & Newey, Whitney & Rosen, Harvey S, 1988. "Estimating Vector Autoregressions with Panel Data," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 56(6), pages 1371-95, November.
  3. Luz Amparo Saavedra, 2000. "Do Local Governments Engage In Strategic Property- Tax Competition," BORRADORES DE ECONOMIA 002378, BANCO DE LA REPÚBLICA.
  4. WILDASIN, David E., . "Interjurisdictional capital mobility: Fiscal externality and a corrective subsidy," CORE Discussion Papers RP -831, Université catholique de Louvain, Center for Operations Research and Econometrics (CORE).
  5. Besley, Timothy & Case, Anne, 1995. "Incumbent Behavior: Vote-Seeking, Tax-Setting, and Yardstick Competition," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 85(1), pages 25-45, March.
  6. Matsumoto, Mutsumi, 1998. "A note on tax competition and public input provision," Regional Science and Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 28(4), pages 465-473, July.
  7. Inman, Robert P, 1995. "How to Have a Fiscal Crisis: Lessons from Philadelphia," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 85(2), pages 378-83, May.
  8. Büttner, Thiess, 1998. "Local Business Taxation and Competition for Capital: The Choice of the Tax Rate," ZEW Discussion Papers 98-43, ZEW - Zentrum für Europäische Wirtschaftsforschung / Center for European Economic Research.
  9. Richter, Wolfram F., 1994. "The efficient allocation of local public factors in Tiebout's tradition," Regional Science and Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 24(3), pages 323-340, June.
  10. Douglas Holtz-Eakin & Whitney K. Newey & Harvey S. Rosen, 1987. "The Revenues-Expenditures Nexus: Evidence from Local Government Data," NBER Working Papers 2180, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  11. Wilson, John Douglas, 1999. "Theories of Tax Competition," National Tax Journal, National Tax Association, vol. 52(n. 2), pages 269-304, June.
  12. Jan K. Brueckner & Luz A. Saavedra, 2000. "Do Local Governments Engage in Strategic Property-Tax Competition?," Econometric Society World Congress 2000 Contributed Papers 0357, Econometric Society.
  13. Case, Anne C, 1991. "Spatial Patterns in Household Demand," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 59(4), pages 953-65, July.
  14. Wallace E. Oates, 1999. "An Essay on Fiscal Federalism," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 37(3), pages 1120-1149, September.
  15. Craig Brett & Joris Pinkse, 1997. "Those Taxes are all over the Map! A Test for Spatial Independence of Municipal Tax Rates in British Columbia," International Regional Science Review, , vol. 20(1-2), pages 131-151, April.
  16. Andrew Haughwout & Robert Inman & Steven Craig & Thomas Luce, 2000. "Local Revenue Hills: A General Equilibrium Specification with Evidence from Four U.S. Cities," NBER Working Papers 7603, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  17. Craig Brett & Joris Pinkse, 2000. "The determinants of municipal tax rates in British Columbia," Canadian Journal of Economics, Canadian Economics Association, vol. 33(3), pages 695-714, August.
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