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Politicians' Opinions on Tax Reform

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  • John Ashworth

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  • Bruno Heyndels

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Abstract

This paper examines politicians' stated preferences on tax reforms which aim to bring about a given change in revenue. The paper starts from a simple framework inwhich politicians are vote maximisers, analyses how disequilibria may affect tax choices and considers possible asymmetries in decisions. The empirical examination of the problem uses the stated preferences of 637 Flemish local politicians for both raising and lowering taxes by the same amount. Using multinomial logit estimation, symmetric and asymmetric effects are found and so the symmetry assumption underlying the standard approach is questioned in the analyses of tax choices. Copyright Kluwer Academic Publishers 2000

Suggested Citation

  • John Ashworth & Bruno Heyndels, 2000. "Politicians' Opinions on Tax Reform," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 103(1), pages 117-138, April.
  • Handle: RePEc:kap:pubcho:v:103:y:2000:i:1:p:117-138
    DOI: 10.1023/A:1005044401511
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Hettich, W. & Winer, S.L., 1993. "The Political Economy of Taxation," Papers 8, Carleton - Business Administration.
    2. Hettich, Walter & Winer, Stanley L, 1988. "Economic and Political Foundations of Tax Structure," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 78(4), pages 701-712, September.
    3. Heyndels, Bruno & Vuchelen, Jef, 1998. "Tax Mimicking Among Belgian Municipalities," National Tax Journal, National Tax Association, vol. 51(n. 1), pages 89-101, March.
    4. Kahneman, Daniel & Tversky, Amos, 1979. "Prospect Theory: An Analysis of Decision under Risk," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 47(2), pages 263-291, March.
    5. Veall, Michael R & Zimmermann, Klaus F, 1996. " Pseudo-R-[superscript 2] Measures for Some Common Limited Dependent Variable Models," Journal of Economic Surveys, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 10(3), pages 241-259, September.
    6. Gamkhar, Shama & Oates, Wallace E., 1996. "Asymmetries in the Response to Increases and Decreases in Intergovernmental Grants: Some Empirical Findings," National Tax Journal, National Tax Association;National Tax Journal, vol. 49(4), pages 501-512, December.
    7. Schmidt, Peter & Strauss, Robert P, 1975. "The Prediction of Occupation Using Multiple Logit Models," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 16(2), pages 471-486, June.
    8. Hettich, Walter & Winer, Stanley, 1984. "A positive model of tax structure," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 24(1), pages 67-87, June.
    9. Alan T. Peacock & Jack Wiseman, 1961. "The Growth of Public Expenditure in the United Kingdom," NBER Books, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc, number peac61-1, April.
    10. Coughlin, Peter J & Mueller, Dennis C & Murrell, Peter, 1990. "Electoral Politics, Interest Groups, and the Size of Government," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 28(4), pages 682-705, October.
    11. Ashworth, John & Heyndels, Bruno, 1997. "Politicians' preferences on local tax rates: An empirical analysis," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 13(3), pages 479-502, September.
    12. Adamowicz W. & Louviere J. & Williams M., 1994. "Combining Revealed and Stated Preference Methods for Valuing Environmental Amenities," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 26(3), pages 271-292, May.
    13. Heyndels, Bruno & Vuchelen, Jef, 1998. "Tax Mimicking Among Belgian Municipalities," National Tax Journal, National Tax Association;National Tax Journal, vol. 51(1), pages 89-101, March.
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    Cited by:

    1. Osterloh, Steffen & Heinemann, Friedrich, 2013. "The political economy of corporate tax harmonization — Why do European politicians (dis)like minimum tax rates?," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 29(C), pages 18-37.
    2. Benny Geys & Jan Vermeir, 2008. "Taxation and presidential approval: separate effects from tax burden and tax structure turbulence?," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 135(3), pages 301-317, June.
    3. Janeba, Eckhard & Osterloh, Steffen, 2013. "Tax and the city — A theory of local tax competition," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 106(C), pages 89-100.
    4. Daniel Sutter & Lee Coppock, 2003. "The Tax Man Cometh: Constitutional Principles for Tax Enforcement," Constitutional Political Economy, Springer, vol. 14(2), pages 107-118, June.
    5. Ashworth, John & Heyndels, Bruno & Smolders, Carine, 2003. "Psychological taxing in Flemish municipalities," Journal of Economic Psychology, Elsevier, vol. 24(6), pages 741-762, December.
    6. Ashworth, John & Heyndels, Bruno, 2002. "Tax Structure Turbulence in OECD Countries," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 111(3-4), pages 347-376, June.

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