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Majority voting and the welfare implications of tax avoidance

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  • Traxler, Christian

Abstract

A benchmark result in the political economy of taxation is that majority voting over a linear income tax schedule will result in an inefficiently high tax rate whenever the median voter has a below-average income. The present paper examines the role of tax avoidance for this welfare result. For a right-skewed distribution of taxed income, we show that the political distortion from majority voting is increasing in the median voter's avoidance. Vice versa, keeping the decisive voter's avoidance constant, the political inefficiency is decreasing in the average level of avoidance in the economy.

Suggested Citation

  • Traxler, Christian, 2012. "Majority voting and the welfare implications of tax avoidance," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 96(1), pages 1-9.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:pubeco:v:96:y:2012:i:1:p:1-9 DOI: 10.1016/j.jpubeco.2011.07.006
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. José Durán-Cabré & Alejandro Esteller-Moré & Luca Salvadori, 2015. "Empirical evidence on horizontal competition in tax enforcement," International Tax and Public Finance, Springer;International Institute of Public Finance, pages 834-860.
    2. Yutaro Hatta, 2014. "Inefficiency in fiscal policy: A political economy of the Laffer curve," Discussion Papers in Economics and Business 14-36, Osaka University, Graduate School of Economics and Osaka School of International Public Policy (OSIPP).
    3. Richard C. Barnett & Joydeep Bhattacharya & Helle Bunzel, 2014. "Voting For Income-Immiserizing Redistribution In The Meltzer–Richard Model," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 52(2), pages 682-695, April.
    4. Adam, Antonis & Kammas, Pantelis, 2012. "(Tax evasion) power to the people: does "early democratization" increase the size of the informal sector?," MPRA Paper 43343, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    5. Carlos Bethencourt & Lars Kunze, 2015. "The political economics of redistribution, inequality and tax avoidance," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 163(3), pages 267-287, June.
    6. An, Zhiyong, 2013. "An alternative approach to income taxation," Economic Modelling, Elsevier, vol. 30(C), pages 875-878.
    7. Hakan İnal, 2015. "Voting over law enforcement: mission impossible," SERIEs: Journal of the Spanish Economic Association, Springer;Spanish Economic Association, vol. 6(3), pages 349-360, August.
    8. Schetter, Ulrich & Gersbach, Hans & Schneider, Maik, 2013. "Taxation, Innovation and Entrepreneurship," Annual Conference 2013 (Duesseldorf): Competition Policy and Regulation in a Global Economic Order 79776, Verein für Socialpolitik / German Economic Association.
    9. Ángel Solano García, 2014. "Fairness in Tax compliance: A Political Competition Model," ThE Papers 14/02, Department of Economic Theory and Economic History of the University of Granada..
    10. Barnett, Richard & Bhattacharya, Joydeep & Bunzel, Helle, 2012. "Voting for immiserizing income redistribution in the Meltzer-Richard model," School of Economics Working Paper Series 2012-15, LeBow College of Business, Drexel University.
    11. Marie-Louise Leroux & Dario Maldonado & Pierre Pestieau, 2015. "Compliance, Informality and Contributive Pensions," CIRANO Working Papers 2015s-52, CIRANO.
    12. Weinreich, Daniel, 2013. "Fair tax evasion and majority voting over redistributive taxation," MPRA Paper 48919, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    13. Zhiyong An, 2015. "A Note on Voting over Taxes with Tax Avoidance," FinanzArchiv: Public Finance Analysis, Mohr Siebeck, Tübingen, vol. 71(3), pages 407-414, September.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Tax avoidance; Welfare analysis; Majority voting; Median voter equilibrium;

    JEL classification:

    • H26 - Public Economics - - Taxation, Subsidies, and Revenue - - - Tax Evasion and Avoidance
    • D72 - Microeconomics - - Analysis of Collective Decision-Making - - - Political Processes: Rent-seeking, Lobbying, Elections, Legislatures, and Voting Behavior
    • D6 - Microeconomics - - Welfare Economics

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