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Income taxation, uncertainty and stability

  • Marhuenda, Francisco
  • Ortuno-Ortin, Ignacio

This paper develops a political model to analyze the stability of income tax schedules. It isassumed that agents perceive any proposed alternative tax policy as more uncertain than thestatus quo. A tax policy is stable if it is a Condorcet winner. It is well known that in a modelwithout uncertainty the existence of such a policy is very rare. We show, however, that in realcases this might not be a serious problem since small amounts of uncertainty can bring stabilityto the status quo. It is also shown that linear tax functions can only be stable in economies withvery egalitarian income distributions and high taxation levels.

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Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Journal of Public Economics.

Volume (Year): 67 (1998)
Issue (Month): 2 (February)
Pages: 285-300

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Handle: RePEc:eee:pubeco:v:67:y:1998:i:2:p:285-300
Contact details of provider: Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/inca/505578

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  1. Romer, T., 1977. "Majority voting on tax parameters : Some further results," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 7(1), pages 127-133, February.
  2. Marhuenda, Francisco & Ortuno-Ortin, Ignacio, 1995. "Popular support for progressive taxation," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 48(3-4), pages 319-324, June.
  3. Musgrave, Richard A, 1987. "Short of Euphoria," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 1(1), pages 59-71, Summer.
  4. Bucovetsky, Sam, 1991. "Choosing tax rates and public expenditure levels using majority rule," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 46(1), pages 113-131, October.
  5. Bernhardt, M. Daniel & Ingerman, Daniel E., 1985. "Candidate reputations and the `incumbency effect'," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 27(1), pages 47-67, June.
  6. Snyder, James M. & Kramer, Gerald H., 1988. "Fairness, self-interest, and the politics of the progressive income tax," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 36(2), pages 197-230, July.
  7. Romer, Thomas, 1975. "Individual welfare, majority voting, and the properties of a linear income tax," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 4(2), pages 163-185, February.
  8. Gans, Joshua S. & Smart, Michael, 1996. "Majority voting with single-crossing preferences," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 59(2), pages 219-237, February.
  9. Hinich, Melvin J. & Ledyard, John O. & Ordeshook, Peter C., 1972. "Nonvoting and the existence of equilibrium under majority rule," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 4(2), pages 144-153, April.
  10. Roberts, Kevin W. S., 1977. "Voting over income tax schedules," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 8(3), pages 329-340, December.
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