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Économie politique de la taxation

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  • Micael Castanheira
  • Christian Valenduc

Abstract

Tax systems are generally assessed through their ability to achieve efficiency and equity goals. The question raised in this article is why and how some of these systems can get created and/or stay and place without achieving any of these goals. The approach used is in the tradition of the political economy literature, which assesses the web of interactions between the incentives of politicians to propose policies and the economic outcomes, that result, a.o. in terms of equity and efficiency. We review some of the existent theoretical analyses, to provide a better understanding of our two problems of interest dimensions concerning tax systems. First, why are inefficient systems not reformed? Second, why would governments ever implement systems that are viewed as inferior by a majority of the voters? Then, we illustrate how these theoretical mechanisms have worked in Belgium. Our analysis provides three cases studies: the tax exemptions awarded to SMEs, the tax exemptions offered to one-earner couples, and the taxation of capital income. In each of these cases, we highlight inefficiencies in the existing system –and hence could (should?) be reformed –and how the political economy factors put forth in the literature explain why actual reforms have remained insufficient. JEL codes: D70, D72, H20, H21, H24.

Suggested Citation

  • Micael Castanheira & Christian Valenduc, 2006. "Économie politique de la taxation," Reflets et perspectives de la vie économique, De Boeck Université, vol. 0(3), pages 19-37.
  • Handle: RePEc:cai:rpvedb:rpve_453_0019
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Torras, Mariano, 2003. "An Ecological Footprint Approach to External Debt Relief," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 31(12), pages 2161-2171, December.
    2. J. Martinez-Alier, 1993. "Distributional Obstacles to International Environmental Policy: The Failures at Rio and Prospects after Rio," Environmental Values, White Horse Press, vol. 2(2), pages 97-114, May.
    3. Andersson, Jan Otto & Lindroth, Mattias, 2001. "Ecologically unsustainable trade," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 37(1), pages 113-122, April.
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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. European Commission, 2012. "Tax reforms in EU Member States - Tax policy challenges for economic growth and fiscal sustainability – 2012 Report," Taxation Papers 34, Directorate General Taxation and Customs Union, European Commission.
    2. Micael Castanheira & Gaëtan Nicodème & Paola Profeta, 2012. "On the political economics of tax reforms: survey and empirical assessment," International Tax and Public Finance, Springer;International Institute of Public Finance, vol. 19(4), pages 598-624, August.
    3. Castanheira, Micael & Nicodème, Gaëtan & Profeta, Paola, 2011. "On the political economics of tax reforms," CEPR Discussion Papers 8507, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    4. Marcel Gérard & Christian Valenduc, 2007. "La politique fiscale sous contraintes," Reflets et perspectives de la vie économique, De Boeck Université, pages 173-192.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • D70 - Microeconomics - - Analysis of Collective Decision-Making - - - General
    • D72 - Microeconomics - - Analysis of Collective Decision-Making - - - Political Processes: Rent-seeking, Lobbying, Elections, Legislatures, and Voting Behavior
    • H20 - Public Economics - - Taxation, Subsidies, and Revenue - - - General
    • H21 - Public Economics - - Taxation, Subsidies, and Revenue - - - Efficiency; Optimal Taxation
    • H24 - Public Economics - - Taxation, Subsidies, and Revenue - - - Personal Income and Other Nonbusiness Taxes and Subsidies

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