Machiavellian Taxation? The political economy of public service financing
AbstractIn this paper, we develop a simple theoretical model in order to explain how politicians choose between progressive and regressive tax schemes that serve to afford some local service production costs. It consists of a bipartisan model in which each party’s preferences are lexicographic, giving priority to winning but following ideological preferences given that it wins. Concerning voters, this model distinguishes for the first time in the literature between pragmatic majorities and social ones, and predicts what happens when both majorities have the same ideological sign and what happens when these majorities are in conflict. “Pragmatic” refers to local-specific considerations regarding general performance of the government while “social” makes reference to issues related to voters’ wealth status and social class. Ruling party’s identity follows from pragmatic considerations, but tax policies becomes a moderate equilibrium between ideological ruling party’s preferences and social majority’s ones. A tax policy would be extreme (either progressive or conservative) if and only if both social majority and pragmatic majority (ruling party) are of the same ideological sign. These predictions are successfully tested by OLS regression thru the use of a wide sample of municipalities concerning waste collection and treatment service- specific deficits.
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 EconWPA in its series Public Economics with number 0409013.
Length: 22 pages
Date of creation: 24 Sep 2004
Date of revision:
Note: Type of Document - pdf; pages: 22
Contact details of provider:
Web page: http://126.96.36.199
Tax choice; voting model; local public goods;
Find related papers by JEL classification:
- H71 - Public Economics - - State and Local Government; Intergovernmental Relations - - - State and Local Taxation, Subsidies, and Revenue
- H20 - Public Economics - - Taxation, Subsidies, and Revenue - - - General
- H30 - Public Economics - - Fiscal Policies and Behavior of Economic Agents - - - General
This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:
- NEP-ALL-2004-09-30 (All new papers)
- NEP-PBE-2004-09-30 (Public Economics)
- NEP-POL-2004-09-30 (Positive Political Economics)
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.:
- Paul R. Blackley & Larry DeBoer, 1987. "Tax Base Choice by Local Governments," Land Economics, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 63(3), pages 227-236.
- J. Biegeleisen & David Sjoquist, 1988. "Rational voting applied to choice of taxes," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 57(1), pages 39-47, April.
- Hettich, Walter & Winer, Stanley L, 1988. "Economic and Political Foundations of Tax Structure," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 78(4), pages 701-12, September.
- Gill, H. Leroy & Haurin, Donald R., 2001. "The choice of tax base by local authorities: voter preferences, special interest groups, and tax base diversification," Regional Science and Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 31(6), pages 733-749, November.
- Henderson, J. Vernon, 1994. "Community choice of revenue instruments," Regional Science and Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 24(2), pages 159-183, April.
- Tim Besley & Stephen Coate, .
"An Economic Model of Representative Democracy,"
Penn CARESS Working Papers
ecf70d639d700dba5327ab0c8, Penn Economics Department.
- Kenneth Rogoff & Anne Sibert, 1988.
"Elections and Macroeconomic Policy Cycles,"
NBER Working Papers
1838, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Tilman Borgers, 2004.
American Economic Review,
American Economic Association, vol. 94(1), pages 57-66, March.
- Bruno Biais & Enrico Perotti, 2002. "Machiavellian Privatization," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 92(1), pages 240-258, March.
- Alberto Alesina & Guido Tabellini, 1988.
"Voting on the Budget Deficit,"
NBER Working Papers
2759, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Tabellini, Guido & Alesina, Alberto, 1990. "Voting on the Budget Deficit," Scholarly Articles 4553030, Harvard University Department of Economics.
- Alesina, Alberto F & Tabellini, Guido, 1988. "Voting on the Budget Deficit," CEPR Discussion Papers 269, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
- Guido Tabellini & Alberto Alesina, 1988. "Voting on the Budget Deficit," UCLA Economics Working Papers 539, UCLA Department of Economics.
- Nouriel Roubini & Jeffrey Sachs, 1988. "Political and Economic Determinants of Budget Deficits in the IndustrialDemocracies," NBER Working Papers 2682, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Tabellini, Guido & Alesina, Alberto, 1990.
"A Positive Theory of Fiscal Deficits and Government Debt,"
3612769, Harvard University Department of Economics.
- Alesina, Alberto & Tabellini, Guido, 1990. "A Positive Theory of Fiscal Deficits and Government Debt," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 57(3), pages 403-14, July.
- Edin, P-A. & Ohlsson, H., 1990.
"Political Determinants Of Budget Deficits: Coalition Effects Versus Minority Effects,"
1990k, Uppsala - Working Paper Series.
- Edin, Per-Anders & Ohlsson, Henry, 1991. "Political determinants of budget deficits: Coalition effects versus minority effects," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 35(8), pages 1597-1603, December.
- Stephen Coate & Michael Conlin, 2004. "A Group Rule–Utilitarian Approach to Voter Turnout: Theory and Evidence," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 94(5), pages 1476-1504, December.
- Hettich, Walter & Winer, Stanley, 1984. "A positive model of tax structure," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 24(1), pages 67-87, June.
- Avinash Dixit & John Londregan, 1998. "Ideology, Tactics, And Efficiency In Redistributive Politics," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 113(2), pages 497-529, May.
- Roubini, Nouriel & Sachs, Jeffrey D., 1989. "Political and economic determinants of budget deficits in the industrial democracies," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 33(5), pages 903-933, May.
- Ignacio Ortuño Orti´n, 2002. "Ideological versus Downsian political competition," Social Choice and Welfare, Springer, vol. 19(3), pages 551-567.
- Cukierman, Alex, 1991. " Asymmetric Information and the Electoral Momentum of Public Opinion Polls," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 70(2), pages 181-213, May.
- Norstrand, Rolf, 1980. "The Choice between Income Tax and Land Tax in Danish Municipalities," Public Finance = Finances publiques, , vol. 35(3), pages 412-24.
- William Stine, 1998. "Explaining the decision to repeal an optional local tax," Applied Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 30(3), pages 353-363.
- Roberto Ricciuti, 2004. "Political Fragmentation and Fiscal Outcomes," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 118(3_4), pages 365-388, 03.
For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (EconWPA).
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.