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Political competition and Mirrleesian income taxation: A first pass

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  • Bierbrauer, Felix J.
  • Boyer, Pierre C.

Abstract

We study political competition in a simple Mirrleesian model of income taxation. The analysis is made tractable by exploiting the mechanism design formulation of the Mirrleesian problem. We consider basic variants of the Downsian model such as vote-share maximizing politicians, a winner-take-all system, and competition among politicians who differ in a quality dimension. We focus on the welfare implications of political competition and its implications for tax rates. In particular, we clarify the conditions under which equilibrium tax policies are Pareto-efficient and the conditions under which political failures in the sense of Besley and Coate (1998) arise.

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  • Bierbrauer, Felix J. & Boyer, Pierre C., 2013. "Political competition and Mirrleesian income taxation: A first pass," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 103(C), pages 1-14.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:pubeco:v:103:y:2013:i:c:p:1-14
    DOI: 10.1016/j.jpubeco.2013.03.007
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    Cited by:

    1. Cunha, Alexandre B. & Ornelas, Emanuel, 2014. "Political competition and the limits of political compromise," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 60273, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
    2. Felix J. Bierbrauer & Pierre C. Boyer, 2016. "Efficiency, Welfare, and Political Competition," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 131(1), pages 461-518.
    3. Brett, Craig & Weymark, John A., 2016. "Voting over selfishly optimal nonlinear income tax schedules with a minimum-utility constraint," Journal of Mathematical Economics, Elsevier, vol. 67(C), pages 18-31.
    4. Urbain T. Yogo & Martine M. Ngo Njib, 2018. "Political Competition and Tax Revenues in Developing Countries," Journal of International Development, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 30(2), pages 302-322, March.
    5. Pierre C. Boyer & Felix J. Bierbrauer, 2014. "The Pareto-Frontier in a Simple Mirrleesian Model of Income Taxation," Annals of Economics and Statistics, GENES, issue 113-114, pages 185-206.
    6. John Roemer, 2012. "The political economy of income taxation under asymmetric information: the two-type case," SERIEs: Journal of the Spanish Economic Association, Springer;Spanish Economic Association, vol. 3(1), pages 181-199, March.
    7. Alexander Shapoval & Shlomo Weber & Alexei Zakharov, 2019. "Valence influence in electoral competition with rank objectives," International Journal of Game Theory, Springer;Game Theory Society, vol. 48(3), pages 713-753, September.
    8. Anja Prummer, 2016. "Spatial Advertisement in Political Campaigns," Working Papers 805, Queen Mary University of London, School of Economics and Finance.
    9. Craig Brett & John A Weymark, 2014. "Citizen Candidates and Voting Over Incentive-Compatible Nonlinear Income Tax Schedules," Vanderbilt University Department of Economics Working Papers 14-00010, Vanderbilt University Department of Economics.
    10. Alexandre B Cunha & Emanuel Ornelas, 2018. "The Limits of Political Compromise: Debt Ceilings and Political Turnover," Journal of the European Economic Association, European Economic Association, vol. 16(3), pages 781-824.
    11. Alpino, Matteo & Asatryan, Zareh & Blesse, Sebastian & Wehrhöfer, Nils, 2020. "Austerity and distributional policy," ZEW Discussion Papers 20-028, ZEW - Leibniz Centre for European Economic Research.
    12. William Howell & Stefan Krasa & Mattias Polborn, 2020. "Political Conflict over Time," American Journal of Political Science, John Wiley & Sons, vol. 64(3), pages 554-568, July.
    13. Renaud Bourlès & Michael T. Dorsch & Paul Maarek, 2019. "Income Taxation and the Diversity of Consumer Goods: A Political Economy Approach," Scandinavian Journal of Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 121(3), pages 960-993, July.
    14. Renaud Bourlès & Michael T. Dorsch & Paul Maarek, 2019. "Income Taxation and the Diversity of Consumer Goods: A Political Economy Approach," Scandinavian Journal of Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 121(3), pages 960-993, July.
    15. Darong Dai, 2020. "Voting over selfishly optimal tax schedules: Can Pigouvian tax redistribute income?," Journal of Public Economic Theory, Association for Public Economic Theory, vol. 22(5), pages 1660-1686, September.
    16. Brett, Craig & Weymark, John A., 2017. "Voting over selfishly optimal nonlinear income tax schedules," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 101(C), pages 172-188.
    17. Urbain T. Yogo1 & Martine M & Ngo Njib, 2016. "Political competition and tax revenues in developing countries," WIDER Working Paper Series 116, World Institute for Development Economic Research (UNU-WIDER).
    18. Prummer, Anja, 2020. "Micro-targeting and polarization," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 188(C).

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Political competition; Redistributive politics; Non-linear income taxation;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • C72 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Game Theory and Bargaining Theory - - - Noncooperative Games
    • D72 - Microeconomics - - Analysis of Collective Decision-Making - - - Political Processes: Rent-seeking, Lobbying, Elections, Legislatures, and Voting Behavior
    • H21 - Public Economics - - Taxation, Subsidies, and Revenue - - - Efficiency; Optimal Taxation

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