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Corporate Lobbying and Commitment Failure in Capital Taxation

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  • Nicolas Marceau
  • Michael Smart

Abstract

This paper investigates the effects of lobbying by corporations when investments are irreversible and government cannot commit to tax policies. We show that industries which rely more heavily on sunk capital lobby more vigorously and are generally more successful in obtaining tax breaks. Thus lobbying can mitigate the capital levy problem. Nevertheless, these industries invest less in long-run equilibrium than more flexible ones. We then consider the effects of relaxing legal restrictions on corporate lobbying. When the deadweight costs of lobbying fall, taxes on sunk capital tend to fall, but political contributions may rise, as lobbyists compete more intensively for political favors. On balance, a ban of lobbying may therefore cause investment to rise or fall.

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File URL: http://www.cesifo-group.de/portal/page/portal/DocBase_Content/WP/WP-CESifo_Working_Papers/wp-cesifo-2002/wp-cesifo-2002-02/cesifo_wp676.pdf
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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by CESifo Group Munich in its series CESifo Working Paper Series with number 676.

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Date of creation: 2002
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Handle: RePEc:ces:ceswps:_676

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  1. Grossman, Gene M & Helpman, Elhanan, 1996. "Electoral Competition and Special Interest Politics," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 63(2), pages 265-86, April.
  2. Dixit, Avinash & Grossman, Gene M. & Helpman, Elhanan, 1997. "Common Agency and Coordination: General Theory and Application to Government Policy Making," Scholarly Articles 3450061, Harvard University Department of Economics.
  3. Gene M. Grossman & Elhanan Helpman, 1992. "Protection For Sale," NBER Working Papers 4149, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  4. Stephen Morris & Stephen Coate, 1999. "Policy Persistence," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 89(5), pages 1327-1336, December.
  5. Persson, Torsten & Tabellini, Guido, 1994. "Representative democracy and capital taxation," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 55(1), pages 53-70, September.
  6. Kotlikoff, Laurence J & Persson, Torsten & Svensson, Lars E O, 1988. "Social Contracts as Assets: A Possible Solution to the Time-Consistency Problem," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 78(4), pages 662-77, September.
  7. Eckhard Janeba, 2000. "Tax Competition When Governments Lack Commitment: Excess Capacity as a Countervailing Threat," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 90(5), pages 1508-1519, December.
  8. LAUSSEL, Didier & LE BRETON, Michel, . "Conflict and cooperation. The structure of equilibrium payoffs in common agency," CORE Discussion Papers RP -1519, Université catholique de Louvain, Center for Operations Research and Econometrics (CORE).
  9. Besley, Timothy & Coate, Stephen, 2001. "Lobbying and Welfare in a Representative Democracy," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 68(1), pages 67-82, January.
  10. Jaewoo Lee & Michelle R. Garfinkel, 2000. "Political Influence and the Dynamic Consistency of Policy," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 90(3), pages 649-666, June.
  11. Nicolas Marceau & Michael Smart, 2000. "Business Tax Lobbying," Cahiers de recherche CREFE / CREFE Working Papers 102, CREFE, Université du Québec à Montréal.
  12. Bernheim, B Douglas & Whinston, Michael D, 1986. "Menu Auctions, Resource Allocation, and Economic Influence," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 101(1), pages 1-31, February.
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