IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/a/bla/ecopol/v13y2001i2p201-220.html
   My bibliography  Save this article

The Political Economy of the IRS

Author

Listed:
  • Marilyn Young
  • Michael Reksulak
  • William F. Shughart

Abstract

This paper tests a multiple principal-agent model of the Internal Revenue Service. Using data for 33 IRS districts over six tax years, 1992-1997, we report evidence that the fraction of individual income tax returns audited is significantly lower in districts that are important to the president electorally and that have representation on key congressional committees. These findings suggest that the IRS is not a rogue government agency, but rather is an effective bureaucratic agent of its political sponsors. "Reforming" the IRS by subjecting it to an independent oversight board appointed by the president would therefore seem to be redundant. Copyright 2001 Royal Statistical Society.

Suggested Citation

  • Marilyn Young & Michael Reksulak & William F. Shughart, 2001. "The Political Economy of the IRS," Economics and Politics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 13(2), pages 201-220, July.
  • Handle: RePEc:bla:ecopol:v:13:y:2001:i:2:p:201-220
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: http://www.blackwell-synergy.com/servlet/useragent?func=synergy&synergyAction=showTOC&journalCode=ecpo&volume=13&issue=2&year=2001&part=null
    File Function: link to full text
    Download Restriction: Access to full text is restricted to subscribers.

    As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to search for a different version of it.

    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Grossman, Gene M & Helpman, Elhanan, 1995. "Trade Wars and Trade Talks," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, pages 675-708.
    2. Grossman, Gene M & Helpman, Elhanan, 1994. "Protection for Sale," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, pages 833-850.
    3. Robert W. Staiger & Kyle Bagwell, 1999. "An Economic Theory of GATT," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, pages 215-248.
    4. Dixit, Avinash, 1984. "International Trade Policy for Oligopolistic Industries," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 94(376a), pages 1-16, Supplemen.
    5. Brander, James A., 1995. "Strategic trade policy," Handbook of International Economics,in: G. M. Grossman & K. Rogoff (ed.), Handbook of International Economics, edition 1, volume 3, chapter 27, pages 1395-1455 Elsevier.
    6. Harry G. Johnson, 1953. "Optimum Tariffs and Retaliation," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 21(2), pages 142-153.
    7. Charles F. Manski, 1997. "Monotone Treatment Response," Econometrica, Econometric Society, pages 1311-1334.
    8. Brander, James A. & Spencer, Barbara J., 1985. "Export subsidies and international market share rivalry," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, pages 83-100.
    9. Baldwin, Richard, 1987. "Politically realistic objective functions and trade policy PROFs and tariffs," Economics Letters, Elsevier, pages 287-290.
    10. Kyle Bagwell & Robert W. Staiger, 1996. "Strategic Export Subsidies and Reciprocal Trade Agreements: The Natural Monopoly Case," Discussion Papers 1156, Northwestern University, Center for Mathematical Studies in Economics and Management Science.
    11. Jonathan Eaton & Gene M. Grossman, 1986. "Optimal Trade and Industrial Policy Under Oligopoly," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, pages 383-406.
    12. Bagwell, Kyle & Staiger, Robert W., 1997. "Strategic export subsidies and reciprocal trade agreements: The natural monopoly case," Japan and the World Economy, Elsevier, pages 491-510.
    13. Bagwell, Kyle & Staiger, Robert W., 1997. "Strategic export subsidies and reciprocal trade agreements: The natural monopoly case," Japan and the World Economy, Elsevier, pages 491-510.
    14. Collie, David R, 1997. "Bilateralism Is Good: Trade Blocs and Strategic Export Subsidies," Oxford Economic Papers, Oxford University Press, vol. 49(4), pages 504-520, October.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    More about this item

    Statistics

    Access and download statistics

    Corrections

    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:bla:ecopol:v:13:y:2001:i:2:p:201-220. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Wiley-Blackwell Digital Licensing) or (Christopher F. Baum). General contact details of provider: http://www.blackwellpublishing.com/journal.asp?ref=0954-1985 .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    We have no references for this item. You can help adding them by using this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.