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Can tax evasion tame Leviathan governments?

  • Frode Brevik
  • Manfred Gärtner


This paper looks at how income tax rates, consumption and public spending respond as venues for tax evasion open or close. The analysis draws on a 16-generation OLG model in which tax rates are determined in a repeated game between voters and a rent-seeking Leviathan government. Key insights are: (1) Effects on any generation alive when change takes place may differ substantially from steady state effects that accrue for generations yet to be born. (2) There is considerable intergenerational diversity in these effects that is not monotonous as we move from young to old. Combined, these results suggest that the political economy of pertinent institutional change may be quite complex.

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Article provided by Springer in its journal Public Choice.

Volume (Year): 136 (2008)
Issue (Month): 1 (July)
Pages: 103-122

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Handle: RePEc:kap:pubcho:v:136:y:2008:i:1:p:103-122
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  1. Persson, Torsten & Roland, Gérard & Tabellini, Guido, 1997. "Comparative Politics and Public Finance," CEPR Discussion Papers 1737, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  2. George J. Stigler, 1971. "The Theory of Economic Regulation," Bell Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 2(1), pages 3-21, Spring.
  3. Jan Schnellenbach, 2006. "Tax Morale and the Taming of Leviathan," Constitutional Political Economy, Springer, vol. 17(2), pages 117-132, 06.
  4. John Ferejohn, 1986. "Incumbent performance and electoral control," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 50(1), pages 5-25, January.
  5. Boadway, Robin & Keen, Michael, 1998. "Evasion and Time Consistency in the Taxation of Capital Income," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 39(2), pages 461-76, May.
  6. Wolfgang Eggert & Martin Kolmar, 2004. "The Taxation of Financial Capital under Asymmetric Information and the Tax-competition Paradox," Scandinavian Journal of Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 106(1), pages 83-106, 03.
  7. Philippe Bacchetta & Maria Paz Espinosa, 1993. "Information Sharing and Tax Competition Among Governments," CEPR Financial Markets Paper 0028, European Science Foundation Network in Financial Markets, c/o C.E.P.R, 77 Bastwick Street, London EC1V 3PZ..
  8. Allingham, Michael G. & Sandmo, Agnar, 1972. "Income tax evasion: a theoretical analysis," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 1(3-4), pages 323-338, November.
  9. Harry Huizinga & Søren Bo Nielsen, . "Withholding Taxes or Information Exchange: The Taxation of International Interest Flows," EPRU Working Paper Series 00-19, Economic Policy Research Unit (EPRU), University of Copenhagen. Department of Economics.
  10. Fischer, Stanley, 1980. "Dynamic inconsistency, cooperation and the benevolent dissembling government," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 2(1), pages 93-107, May.
  11. Philippe Bacchetta & María Espinosa, 2000. "Exchange-of-Information Clauses in International Tax Treaties," International Tax and Public Finance, Springer, vol. 7(3), pages 275-293, May.
  12. Rogers, Carol Ann, 1987. "Expenditure taxes, income taxes, and time-inconsistency," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 32(2), pages 215-230, March.
  13. Kollintzas, T. & Philippopoulos, A. & Vasillatos, V., 1999. "Is Tax Policy Coordination Necessary?," DEOS Working Papers 110, Athens University of Economics and Business.
  14. V. V. Chari & Patrick J. Kehoe & Edward C. Prescott, 1988. "Time consistency and policy," Staff Report 115, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis.
  15. Robert Barro, 1973. "The control of politicians: An economic model," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 14(1), pages 19-42, March.
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