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A probabilistic voting model of progressive taxation with incentive effects

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  • Jenny de Freitas

    ()
    (Universitat de les Illes Balears)

Abstract

The purpose of this work is to show under what conditions a marginally progressive income tax emerges as the result of political competition between two parties when labor is elastically supplied and candidates are uncertain about voters' decisions on election day. Assuming a decreasing wage elasticity of labor supply, if we follow Coughlin and Nitzan (1981), only marginal-rate progressive taxes are chosen by both candidates in equilibrium. If, instead, we adopt Lindbeck and Weibull’s (1987) probabilistic voting model, the equilibrium tax schedule will be progressive as long as the political power of the rich voter is sufficiently low. The degree of progressivity decreases with population polarization.

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by IEF in its journal Hacienda Pública Española/Revista de Economía Pública.

Volume (Year): 190 (2009)
Issue (Month): 3 (September)
Pages: 9-26

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Handle: RePEc:hpe:journl:y:2009:v:190:i:3:p:9-26

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Keywords: Political economy; progressive taxation; elastic labor supply;

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  1. Marhuenda, Francisco & Ortuno-Ortin, Ignacio, 1995. "Popular support for progressive taxation," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 48(3-4), pages 319-324, June.
  2. John E. Roemer, 1999. "The Democratic Political Economy of Progressive Income Taxation," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 67(1), pages 1-20, January.
  3. Carbonell-Nicolau, Oriol & Klor, Esteban F., 2003. "Representative democracy and marginal rate progressive income taxation," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 87(9-10), pages 2339-2366, September.
  4. Gene Grossman & Elhanan Helpman, 1994. "Electoral Competition and Special Interest Politics," NBER Working Papers 4877, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  5. Jean Hindriks, 2000. "Is There a Demand for Income Tax Progressivity?," Working Papers 415, Queen Mary, University of London, School of Economics and Finance.
  6. Roland Benabou, 2000. "Unequal Societies: Income Distribution and the Social Contract," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 90(1), pages 96-129, March.
  7. Francisco Marhuenda & Ignacio Ortuño Ortín, 1995. "Popular Support For Progressive Taxation," Working Papers. Serie AD 1995-15, Instituto Valenciano de Investigaciones Económicas, S.A. (Ivie).
  8. Philippe De Donder & Jean Hindriks, 2000. "The Politics of Progressive Income Taxation with Incentive Effects," Working Papers 416, Queen Mary, University of London, School of Economics and Finance.
  9. Roberts, Kevin W. S., 1977. "Voting over income tax schedules," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 8(3), pages 329-340, December.
  10. CASAMATTA, Georges & CREMER, Helmuth & PESTIEAU, Pierre, . "Is there a political support for the double burden on prolonged activity?," CORE Discussion Papers RP -1865, Université catholique de Louvain, Center for Operations Research and Econometrics (CORE).
  11. Romer, Thomas, 1975. "Individual welfare, majority voting, and the properties of a linear income tax," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 4(2), pages 163-185, February.
  12. Carbonell-Nicolau, Oriol & Ok, Efe A., 2007. "Voting over income taxation," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 134(1), pages 249-286, May.
  13. Laussel, Didier & Le Breton, Michel, 2002. "Unidimensional Downsian politics: median, utilitarian or what else?," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 76(3), pages 351-356, August.
  14. Assar Lindbeck & Jörgen Weibull, 1987. "Balanced-budget redistribution as the outcome of political competition," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 52(3), pages 273-297, January.
  15. Coughlin, Peter & Nitzan, Shmuel, 1981. "Electoral outcomes with probabilistic voting and Nash social welfare maxima," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 15(1), pages 113-121, February.
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