Abstract

http://ssrn.com/abstract=1144644
 
 

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Piling on: Multi-Level Government and the Fiscal Common-Pool


Christopher R. Berry


University of Chicago - Irving B. Harris Graduate School of Public Policy Studies

May, 2008


Abstract:     
This paper discusses the common-pool problems that arise when multiple territorially overlapping governments share the authority to provide services and levy taxes in a common geographic area. Contrary to the traditional Tiebout model in which increasing the number of competing governments improves efficiency, I argue that increasing the number of overlapping governments results in "overfishing" from the shared tax base. I test the model empirically using data from U.S. counties and find a strong positive relationship between the number of overlapping jurisdictions and the size of the local public sector. Substantively, the "overlap effect" amounts to roughly 10 percent of local revenue.

Number of Pages in PDF File: 46

Keywords: overlapping jurisdictions, special districts, Tiebout, concurrent taxation, tax competition

JEL Classification: H11, H2, H71, H77, H73

working papers series


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Date posted: June 16, 2008  

Suggested Citation

Berry, Christopher R., Piling on: Multi-Level Government and the Fiscal Common-Pool (May, 2008). Available at SSRN: http://ssrn.com/abstract=1144644 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.1144644

Contact Information

Christopher R. Berry (Contact Author)
University of Chicago - Irving B. Harris Graduate School of Public Policy Studies ( email )
1155 East 60th Street
Chicago, IL 60637
United States
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