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Political Competition and Mirrleesian Income Taxation: A First Pass

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  • Felix J. Bierbrauer
  • Pierre C. Boyer

Abstract

We study Downsian competition in a Mirrleesian model of income taxation. The competing politicians may differ in competence. If politicians engage in vote-share maximization, the less competent politician’s policy proposals are attractive to the minority of rich agents, whereas those of the competent politician are attractive to the majority of poor agents. The less competent politician wins with positive probability, which gives rise to a political failure in the sense of Besley and Coate (1998). Political failures are avoided if politicians maximize winning probabilities. Nevertheless, the two equilibria cannot be Pareto-ranked, the minority may be better off under vote-share maximization.

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Paper provided by CESifo Group Munich in its series CESifo Working Paper Series with number 3294.

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Date of creation: 2010
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Handle: RePEc:ces:ceswps:_3294

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Keywords: electoral competition; non-linear income taxation; candidate quality;

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Cited by:
  1. Felix Bierbrauer & Pierre C. Boyer, 2013. "The Pareto-Frontier in a Simple Mirrleesian Model of Income Taxation," CESifo Working Paper Series 4399, CESifo Group Munich.
  2. Alexandre B. Cunha & Emanuel Ornelas, 2014. "Political Competition and the Limits of Political Compromise," CESifo Working Paper Series 4737, CESifo Group Munich.
  3. John Roemer, 2012. "The political economy of income taxation under asymmetric information: the two-type case," SERIEs, Spanish Economic Association, vol. 3(1), pages 181-199, March.
  4. Felix Bierbrauer & Pierre C. Boyer, 2014. "Efficiency, Welfare, and Political Competition," CESifo Working Paper Series 4814, CESifo Group Munich.

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