Tax Structure and Public Sector Growth
29 Pages Posted: 25 Jul 2007 Last revised: 11 Jul 2010
Date Written: September 1986
It has been hypothesized that a jurisdiction's tax structure exerts an independent effect upon the growth of its public sector. We test this hypothesis by examining the relationship between the growth of state general expenditure and the elasticity of tax revenues with respect to income. The work takes advantage of a very careful set of income elasticities for the personal income and sales tax systems for each state, for every year from 1978 to 1983. The main conclusion is that the data do not support the notion that the form of the tax structure exerts an independent effect on public sector growth.
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