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Tax Policy From a Public Choice Perspective

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  • Holcombe, Randall G.

Abstract

Tax policy is a product of politics, so a complete understanding of tax policy requires an explicit recognition of the political environment within which tax policy is made. The paper emphasizes the concept of political costs associated with the tax system and discusses several aspects of tax policy using a public choice approach. The paper argues that the political costs associated with taxation can be minimized by embedding the tax system within a relatively inflexible fiscal constitution. Despite the insights the public choice perspective offers, most analysis of tax policy does not take public choice considerations into account.

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by National Tax Association in its journal National Tax Journal.

Volume (Year): 51 (1998)
Issue (Month): n. 2 (June)
Pages: 359-71

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Handle: RePEc:ntj:journl:v:51:y:1998:i:n._2:p:359-71

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  1. Charles M. Tiebout, 1956. "A Pure Theory of Local Expenditures," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 64, pages 416.
  2. Slemrod, Joel, 1990. "Optimal Taxation and Optimal Tax Systems," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 4(1), pages 157-78, Winter.
  3. Stigler, George J, 1970. "Director's Law of Public Income Redistribution," Journal of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 13(1), pages 1-10, April.
  4. Weingast, Barry R & Shepsle, Kenneth A & Johnsen, Christopher, 1981. "The Political Economy of Benefits and Costs: A Neoclassical Approach to Distributive Politics," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 89(4), pages 642-64, August.
  5. Mirrlees, James A, 1971. "An Exploration in the Theory of Optimum Income Taxation," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 38(114), pages 175-208, April.
  6. Sam Peltzman, 1980. "The Growth of Government," University of Chicago - George G. Stigler Center for Study of Economy and State 1, Chicago - Center for Study of Economy and State.
  7. Buchanan, James M., 1993. "The Political Efficiency of General Taxation," National Tax Journal, National Tax Association, vol. 46(4), pages 401-10, December.
  8. Lott, John R, Jr, 1997. " Does Political Reform Increase Wealth?: Or, Why the Difference between the Chicago and Virginia Schools Is Really an Elasticity Question," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 91(3-4), pages 219-27, June.
  9. Buchanan, James M., 1976. "Taxation in fiscal exchange," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 6(1-2), pages 17-29.
  10. James M. Buchanan, 1963. "The Economics of Earmarked Taxes," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 71, pages 457.
  11. Becker, Gary S, 1983. "A Theory of Competition among Pressure Groups for Political Influence," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 98(3), pages 371-400, August.
  12. Wittman, Donald, 1989. "Why Democracies Produce Efficient Results," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 97(6), pages 1395-1424, December.
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Cited by:
  1. Harvey S. Rosen, 2002. "Public Finance: Essay for the Encyclopedia of Public Choice," Working Papers 122, Princeton University, Department of Economics, Center for Economic Policy Studies..
  2. Raffaella Santolini, 2009. "The political trend in local government tax setting," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 139(1), pages 125-134, April.
  3. Metin Cosgel, 2002. "Taxes, Efficiency, and Redistribution: Discriminatory Taxation of Villages in Ottoman Palestine, Southern Syria and Transjordan in the Sixteenth Century," Working papers 2002-22, University of Connecticut, Department of Economics, revised Jul 2004.
  4. Ringa Raudla, 2010. "Governing budgetary commons: what can we learn from Elinor Ostrom?," European Journal of Law and Economics, Springer, vol. 30(3), pages 201-221, December.

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