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The political economics of not paying taxes

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  • Jesper Roine

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Abstract

This paper considers redistributive as well as political consequences of tax avoidance. When tax avoidance is possible, the official tax rate does not necessarily correspond to what individuals actually pay. This affects both redistributive outcomes as well as political attitudes towards taxation. Depending on the avoidance technology different political equilibria emerge. When the avoidance possibilities are limited, the classical conflict between rich and poor is sustained. If the tax avoidance technology is more effective, however, the equilibrium outcome can change to a situation where a coalition of poor and the very richest favor a higher tax rate. Comparing the model predictions with data on income inequality and evidence of avoidance activity, it comes surprisingly close to actual observations. Copyright Springer Science + Business Media, Inc. 2006

Suggested Citation

  • Jesper Roine, 2006. "The political economics of not paying taxes," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 126(1), pages 107-134, January.
  • Handle: RePEc:kap:pubcho:v:126:y:2006:i:1:p:107-134
    DOI: 10.1007/s11127-006-6071-6
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Axel Dreher & Lars-H. Siemers, 2009. "The nexus between corruption and capital account restrictions," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 140(1), pages 245-265, July.
    2. Krumm, Raimund & Volkert, Jürgen, 2015. "Möglichkeiten und Grenzen der politischen Realisierbarkeit intra- und intergenerativer Gerechtigkeit," UFZ Discussion Papers 11/2015, Helmholtz Centre for Environmental Research (UFZ), Division of Social Sciences (ÖKUS).
    3. Rainald Borck, 2007. "Voting, Inequality And Redistribution," Journal of Economic Surveys, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 21(1), pages 90-109, February.
    4. Kammas, Pantelis & Litina, Anastasia & Palivos, Theodore, 2013. "The Quality of Public Education in Unequal Societies: The Role of Tax Institutions," MPRA Paper 52193, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    5. Salvatore Barbaro & Jens Suedekum, 2009. "Voting on income tax exemptions," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 138(1), pages 239-253, January.
    6. Douhan, Robin & Henrekson, Magnus, 2007. "The Political Economy of Entrepreneurship: An Introduction," Working Paper Series 688, Research Institute of Industrial Economics.
    7. Laszlo Goerke, 2012. "The Optimal Structure of Commodity Taxation in a Monopoly with Tax Avoidance or Evasion," Public Finance Review, , vol. 40(4), pages 519-536, July.
    8. 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.
    9. An, Zhiyong, 2013. "An alternative approach to income taxation," Economic Modelling, Elsevier, vol. 30(C), pages 875-878.
    10. Carlos Bethencourt & Lars Kunze, 2015. "The political economics of redistribution, inequality and tax avoidance," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 163(3), pages 267-287, June.
    11. Magnus Henrekson & Daniel Waldenström, 2016. "Inheritance taxation in Sweden, 1885–2004: the role of ideology, family firms, and tax avoidance," Economic History Review, Economic History Society, vol. 69(4), pages 1228-1254, November.
    12. Damjanovic, Tatiana & Ulph, David, 2010. "Tax progressivity, income distribution and tax non-compliance," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 54(4), pages 594-607, May.
    13. Michael Keen & Yitae Kim & Ricardo Varsano, 2008. "The “flat tax(es)”: principles and experience," International Tax and Public Finance, Springer;International Institute of Public Finance, vol. 15(6), pages 712-751, December.
    14. Rainald Borck, 2009. "Voting on redistribution with tax evasion," Social Choice and Welfare, Springer;The Society for Social Choice and Welfare, vol. 32(3), pages 439-454, March.
    15. Magnus Henrekson & Jesper Roine, 2007. "Promoting Entrepreneurship in the Welfare State," Chapters,in: Handbook of Research on Entrepreneurship Policy, chapter 5 Edward Elgar Publishing.
    16. repec:kap:itaxpf:v:24:y:2017:i:5:d:10.1007_s10797-016-9434-z is not listed on IDEAS
    17. Persson, Mats & Siven, Claes-Henric, 2006. "The Becker Paradox and Type I vs. Type II Errors in the Economics of Crime," Research Papers in Economics 2006:1, Stockholm University, Department of Economics.
    18. Casamatta, Georges, 2011. "Optimal income taxation with tax avoidance," CEPR Discussion Papers 8608, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    19. Laszlo Goerke, 2017. "Tax evasion in a Cournot oligopoly with endogenous entry," International Tax and Public Finance, Springer;International Institute of Public Finance, vol. 24(5), pages 754-779, September.
    20. 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

    JEL classification:

    • 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
    • H24 - Public Economics - - Taxation, Subsidies, and Revenue - - - Personal Income and Other Nonbusiness Taxes and Subsidies

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