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Redistributive Politics with Distortionary Taxation

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  • Crutzen, Benoît SY
  • Sahuguet, Nicolas

Abstract

We extend the discussion of redistributive politics across electoral systems to allow for taxation to be distortionary. We allow politicians to choose any tax rate between zero and unity and then redistribute the money collected. We build on the model put forward by Myerson (1993) and Lizzeri and Persico (2001 and 2005) to show that the use of distortionnary taxation can be understood as an analysis of the trade-off between efficiency and targetability. We derive the equilibrium taxes and redistribution schemes with distortions. We show that the presence of distortions makes full taxation unattractive. We also derive the size of the government, the deadweight loss and inequality as a function of distortions.

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Paper provided by C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers in its series CEPR Discussion Papers with number 5975.

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Date of creation: Dec 2006
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Handle: RePEc:cpr:ceprdp:5975

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Keywords: distortionary taxation; redistributive politics;

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References

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  1. Alessandro Lizzeri & Nicola Persico, . ""The Provision of Public Goods Under Alternative Electoral Incentives''," CARESS Working Papres 98-08, University of Pennsylvania Center for Analytic Research and Economics in the Social Sciences.
  2. Meltzer, Allan H & Richard, Scott F, 1981. "A Rational Theory of the Size of Government," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 89(5), pages 914-27, October.
  3. Eddie Dekel & Matthew O. Jackson & Asher Wolinksy, 2006. "Vote Buying II: Legislatures and Lobbying," Discussion Papers 1433, Northwestern University, Center for Mathematical Studies in Economics and Management Science.
  4. Persson, Torsten & Roland , Gérard & Tabellini, Guido, 1997. "Comparative Politics and Public Finance," Seminar Papers 633, Stockholm University, Institute for International Economic Studies.
  5. Persson, Torsten & Tabellini, Guido, 1999. "The size and scope of government:: Comparative politics with rational politicians," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 43(4-6), pages 699-735, April.
  6. Jackson, Matthew O. & Dekel, Eddie & Wolinsky, Asher, 2005. "Vote buying," Working Papers 1215, California Institute of Technology, Division of the Humanities and Social Sciences.
    • Eddie Dekel & Matthew O. Jackson & Asher Wolinsky, 2005. "Vote Buying," Others 0503006, EconWPA.
    • Eddie Dekel & Matthew O. Jackson & Asher Wolinsky, 2004. "Vote Buying," Discussion Papers 1386, Northwestern University, Center for Mathematical Studies in Economics and Management Science.
  7. Gouveia, Miguel & Oliver, David, 1996. "Voting over flat taxes in an endowment economy," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 50(2), pages 251-258, February.
  8. John Douglas Wilson, 1990. "Are Efficiency Improvements In Government Transfer Policies Self-Defeating In Political Equilibrium?," Economics and Politics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 2(3), pages 241-258, November.
  9. Carbonell-Nicolau, Oriol & Ok, Efe A., 2007. "Voting over income taxation," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 134(1), pages 249-286, May.
  10. Nicolas Sahuguet & Nicola Persico, 2006. "Campaign spending regulation in a model of redistributive politics," Economic Theory, Springer, vol. 28(1), pages 95-124, 05.
  11. Gary S. Becker & Casey B. Mulligan, 1998. "Deadweight Costs and the Size of Government," University of Chicago - George G. Stigler Center for Study of Economy and State 144, Chicago - Center for Study of Economy and State.
  12. Philip Grossman, 1987. "The optimal size of government," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 53(2), pages 131-147, January.
  13. Lizzeri, Alessandro, 1999. "Budget Deficits and Redistributive Politics," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 66(4), pages 909-28, October.
  14. Brian Roberson, 2006. "The Colonel Blotto game," Economic Theory, Springer, vol. 29(1), pages 1-24, September.
  15. Kovenock, Dan & Roberson, Brian, 2005. "Electoral poaching and party identification," Discussion Papers, Research Unit: Market Processes and Governance SP II 2005-17, Social Science Research Center Berlin (WZB).
  16. Laslier, Jean-Francois & Picard, Nathalie, 2002. "Distributive Politics and Electoral Competition," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 103(1), pages 106-130, March.
  17. Alessandro Lizzeri & Nicola Persico, 2005. "A Drawback Of Electoral Competition," Journal of the European Economic Association, MIT Press, vol. 3(6), pages 1318-1348, December.
  18. Eddie Dekel & Matthew O. Jackson & Asher Wolinsky, 2008. "Vote Buying: General Elections," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 116(2), pages 351-380, 04.
  19. Assar Lindbeck & Jörgen Weibull, 1987. "Balanced-budget redistribution as the outcome of political competition," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 52(3), pages 273-297, January.
  20. James Kau & Paul Rubin, 1981. "The size of government," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 37(2), pages 261-274, January.
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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. Subhasish Chowdhury & Dan Kovenock & Roman Sheremeta, 2013. "An experimental investigation of Colonel Blotto games," Economic Theory, Springer, vol. 52(3), pages 833-861, April.
  2. Micael Castanheira & Gaëtan J.A. Nicodème & Paola Profeta, 2011. "On the Political Economics of Tax Reforms," CESifo Working Paper Series 3538, CESifo Group Munich.
  3. Micael Castanheira & Gaëtan Nicodème & Paola Profeta, 2012. "On the political economics of tax reforms: survey and empirical assessment," International Tax and Public Finance, Springer, vol. 19(4), pages 598-624, August.
  4. Felix Bierbrauer & Pierre C. Boyer, 2014. "Efficiency, Welfare, and Political Competition," CESifo Working Paper Series 4814, CESifo Group Munich.
  5. Bierbrauer, F.J. & Boyer, F.J., 2011. "Political competition and Mirrleesian income taxation: A first pass," Cambridge Working Papers in Economics 1108, Faculty of Economics, University of Cambridge.
  6. Sandro Brusco & Luca Colombo & Umberto Galmarini, 2014. "Tax differentiation, lobbying, and welfare," Social Choice and Welfare, Springer, vol. 42(4), pages 977-1006, April.
  7. Kovenock, Dan & Roberson, Brian, 2009. "Non-partisan 'Get-out-the-vote' efforts and policy outcomes," Discussion Papers, Research Unit: Market Processes and Governance SP II 2009-07, Social Science Research Center Berlin (WZB).

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