IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/a/ses/arsjes/2011-iv-6.html
   My bibliography  Save this article

Taxing Expats - Instrumental versus Expressive Voting Compared

Author

Listed:
  • Charles Beat Blankart
  • Simon Margraf

Abstract

It is common knowledge that mobile individuals are difficult to tax. Governments accommodate these difficulties by granting special tax reductions to mobile individuals as it is expedient to get some tax revenue from these individuals rather than to lose them as tax payers completely. Taxing according to expediency is, however, criticized by ordinary tax payers who claim that the basic principles of tax equity are consequently violated. Therefore governments have to solve a difficult trade off between the two goals in order to survive. The variables entering in this optimization process remain disguised in the normal case of a representative democracy. In a direct democracy, however, the trade-off between tax expediency and tax equity principles is revealed by voters.In this paper we distinguish between situations where voters vote instrumentally in favour of tax expediency and where voters vote expressively in favour of equity principles. A popular vote in the canton of Zurich of 2009 serves as a natural experiment for testing the instrumental versus expressive voter hypotheses. We find that instrumental voting prevails in small rural municipalities and expressive voting in larger cities. As expressive voters are in majority in the canton, they exert a cross border externality by imposing their will on the majority decisions of the smaller municipalities. This observation may be of a particular importance when, on the federal level, expressive urban voters may impose their will on the voters of rural cantons voting instrumentally.

Suggested Citation

  • Charles Beat Blankart & Simon Margraf, 2011. "Taxing Expats - Instrumental versus Expressive Voting Compared," Swiss Journal of Economics and Statistics (SJES), Swiss Society of Economics and Statistics (SSES), vol. 147(IV), pages 461-478, December.
  • Handle: RePEc:ses:arsjes:2011-iv-6
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: http://www.sjes.ch/papers/2011-IV-6.pdf
    Download Restriction: no

    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Anthony Downs, 1957. "An Economic Theory of Political Action in a Democracy," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 65, pages 135-135.
    2. Keen, Michael, 2001. "Preferential Regimes Can Make Tax Competition Less Harmful," National Tax Journal, National Tax Association, vol. 54(n. 4), pages 757-62, December.
    3. repec:cup:apsrev:v:62:y:1968:i:01:p:25-42_11 is not listed on IDEAS
    4. Mueller,Dennis C., 2003. "Public Choice III," Cambridge Books, Cambridge University Press, number 9780521894753, May.
    5. Tyran, Jean-Robert, 2004. "Voting when money and morals conflict: an experimental test of expressive voting," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 88(7-8), pages 1645-1664, July.
    6. Russell S. Sobel & Gary A. Wagner, 2004. "Expressive Voting and Government Redistribution: Testing Tullock's `Charity of the Uncharitable'," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 119(1_2), pages 143-159, April.
    7. Sinn, Hans-Werner, . "The New Systems Competition: YRJÖ Jahnsson Lectures," Monographs in Economics, University of Munich, Department of Economics, number 19614, Jul-Dec.
    8. Carter, John R & Guerette, Stephen D, 1992. "An Experimental Study of Expressive Voting," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 73(3), pages 251-260, April.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Political Economics of Taxation;

    JEL classification:

    • D72 - Microeconomics - - Analysis of Collective Decision-Making - - - Political Processes: Rent-seeking, Lobbying, Elections, Legislatures, and Voting Behavior
    • H24 - Public Economics - - Taxation, Subsidies, and Revenue - - - Personal Income and Other Nonbusiness Taxes and Subsidies
    • H71 - Public Economics - - State and Local Government; Intergovernmental Relations - - - State and Local Taxation, Subsidies, and Revenue

    Statistics

    Access and download statistics

    Corrections

    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:ses:arsjes:2011-iv-6. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Peter Steiner). General contact details of provider: http://edirc.repec.org/data/sgvssea.html .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If CitEc recognized a reference but did not link an item in RePEc to it, you can help with this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.