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Redistribution, Taxes and the Median Voter

  • Marco Bassetto

    (University of Minnesota)

  • Jess Benhabib

    (New York University)

We study a simple model of production, accumulation, and redistribution, where agents are heterogeneous in their initial wealth, and a sequence of redistributive tax rates is voted upon. Though the policy is infinite-dimensional, we prove that a median voter theorem holds if households have identical, Gorman aggregable preferences; furthermore, the tax policy preferred by the median voter has the "bang-bang" property. (Copyright: Elsevier)

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File URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.red.2006.02.001
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Article provided by Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics in its journal Review of Economic Dynamics.

Volume (Year): 9 (2006)
Issue (Month): 2 (April)
Pages: 211-223

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Handle: RePEc:red:issued:v:9:y:2006:i:2:p:211-223
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  1. Jack, William & Lagunoff, Roger, 2006. "Dynamic enfranchisement," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 90(4-5), pages 551-572, May.
  2. V. V. Chari & Patrick J. Kehoe, 1998. "Optimal fiscal and monetary policy," Staff Report 251, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis.
  3. Benhabib, Jess & Rustichini, Aldo, 1997. "Optimal Taxes without Commitment," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 77(2), pages 231-259, December.
  4. Gans, Joshua S. & Smart, Michael, 1996. "Majority voting with single-crossing preferences," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 59(2), pages 219-237, February.
  5. Andrew Atkeson & V.V. Chari & Patrick J. Kehoe, 1999. "Taxing capital income: a bad idea," Quarterly Review, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis, issue Sum, pages 3-17.
  6. Marco Bassetto, 2002. "Equilibrium and government commitment," Working Papers 624, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis.
  7. Chamley, Christophe, 1985. "Efficient Taxation in a Stylized Model of Intertemporal General Equilibrium," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 26(2), pages 451-68, June.
  8. Rothstein, Paul, 1991. " Representative Voter Theorems," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 72(2-3), pages 193-212, December.
  9. Chamley, Christophe, 1986. "Optimal Taxation of Capital Income in General Equilibrium with Infinite Lives," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 54(3), pages 607-22, May.
  10. Pollak, Robert A, 1971. "Additive Utility Functions and Linear Engel Curves," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 38(116), pages 401-14, October.
  11. Judd, Kenneth L., 1985. "Redistributive taxation in a simple perfect foresight model," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 28(1), pages 59-83, October.
  12. Adam Przeworski & Jess Benhabib, 2004. "The Political Economy of Redistribution under Democracy," 2004 Meeting Papers 58, Society for Economic Dynamics.
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