Taxing Expats. Instrumental versus Expressive Voting Compared
AbstractIt is common knowledge that mobile individuals are difficult to tax. Governments accommodate these difficulties by granting special tax reductions to mobile individuals as it is expedient to get some tax revenue from these individuals rather than to lose them as tax payers completely. Taxing according to expediency is, however, criticized by ordinary tax payers who claim that the basic principles of tax equity are consequently violated. Therefore governments have to solve a difficult trade off between the two goals in order to survive. The variables entering in this optimization process remain disguised in the normal case of a representative democracy. In a direct democracy, however, the trade-off between tax expediency and tax equity principles is revealed by voters.In this paper we distinguish between situations where voters vote instrumentally in favour of tax expediency and where voters vote expressively in favour of equity principles. A popular vote in the canton of Zurich of 2009 serves as a natural experiment for testing the instrumental versus expressive voter hypotheses. We find that instrumental voting prevails in small rural municipalities and expressive voting in larger cities. As expressive voters are in majority in the canton, they exert a cross border externality by imposing their will on the majority decisions of the smaller municipalities. This observation may be of a particular importance when, on the federal level, expressive urban voters may impose their will on the voters of rural cantons voting instrumentally.
Download InfoIf you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.
Bibliographic InfoPaper provided by CESifo Group Munich in its series CESifo Working Paper Series with number 3627.
Date of creation: 2011
Date of revision:
political economics of taxation;
Find related papers by JEL classification:
- D72 - Microeconomics - - Analysis of Collective Decision-Making - - - Political Processes: Rent-seeking, Lobbying, Elections, Legislatures, and Voting Behavior
- H24 - Public Economics - - Taxation, Subsidies, and Revenue - - - Personal Income and Other Nonbusiness Taxes and Subsidies
- H71 - Public Economics - - State and Local Government; Intergovernmental Relations - - - State and Local Taxation, Subsidies, and Revenue
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
- Anthony Downs, 1957. "An Economic Theory of Political Action in a Democracy," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, University of Chicago Press, vol. 65, pages 135.
- Tyran, Jean-Robert, 2004.
"Voting when money and morals conflict: an experimental test of expressive voting,"
Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier,
Elsevier, vol. 88(7-8), pages 1645-1664, July.
- Jean-Robert Tyran, 2002. "Voting when Money and Morals Conflict - An Experimental Test of Expressive Voting," University of St. Gallen Department of Economics working paper series 2002, Department of Economics, University of St. Gallen 2002-07, Department of Economics, University of St. Gallen.
- Keen, Michael, 2001. "Preferential Regimes Can Make Tax Competition Less Harmful," National Tax Journal, National Tax Association, vol. 54(n. 4), pages 757-62, December.
For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Julio Saavedra).
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.