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What Is Missed If We Leave Out Collective Choice in the Analysis of Taxation

  • Winer, Stanley L.
  • Hettich, Walter

Omission of collective choice prevents the analyst from understanding the central role of political equilibrium. To create a framework that places tax policies in a broader equilibrium context, we must model the underlying collective allocation mechanism and use it as a starting point, whether we do empirical work explaining observed features of tax systems or whether we engage in research on tax efficiency. A broader perspective of this nature also forces us to re-examine well-known concepts, such as tax expenditures, flat taxation, and the marginal efficiency cost of public funds, and to question and reinterpret some of the conclusions that have been reached in the literature related to these concepts.

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Article provided by National Tax Association in its journal National Tax Journal.

Volume (Year): 51 (1998)
Issue (Month): n. 2 (June)
Pages: 373-89

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Handle: RePEc:ntj:journl:v:51:y:1998:i:n._2:p:373-89
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  1. Mirrlees, J. A., 1976. "Optimal tax theory : A synthesis," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 6(4), pages 327-358, November.
  2. Becker, Gary S, 1983. "A Theory of Competition among Pressure Groups for Political Influence," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 98(3), pages 371-400, August.
  3. Dan Usher, 1994. "The Significance of the Probabilistic Voting Theorem," Canadian Journal of Economics, Canadian Economics Association, vol. 27(2), pages 433-45, May.
  4. Galeotti, Gianluigi & Breton, Albert, 1986. "An Economic Theory of Political Parties," Kyklos, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 39(1), pages 47-65.
  5. Bergstrom, Ted C, 1979. " When Does Majority Rule Supply Public Goods Efficiently?," Scandinavian Journal of Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 81(2), pages 216-26.
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