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Viewing tax policy through party-colored glasses: What German politicians believe

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  • Friedrich Heinemann

    () (Centre for European Economic Research (ZEW))

  • Eckhard Janeba

    () (University of Mannheim, CESifo)

Abstract

The process of globalization has an important impact on national tax policies. Most of the literature does not focus directly on the political decision making process and assumes that the desired tax policy is responding to objective underlying tradeoffs. Based on an original survey of members of German national parliament (Bundestag) in 2006/7 we document a strong ideological bias among policy makers with respect to the perceived mobility of international tax bases (real capital and paper profits). Ideology via party affiliation influences also directly and indirectly the perceived national autonomy in tax setting and preferences for a EU minimum tax for companies. There seems little consensus as to what the efficiency costs of capital taxation in open economies are, even though our survey falls in a period of extensive debate about and actual adoption of a company tax reform bill in Germany. From a comparative politics perspective our results document the strong role of party discipline in a parliamentary democracy as the actual voting behaviour within a party is much more cohesive than the survey evidence suggests.

Suggested Citation

  • Friedrich Heinemann & Eckhard Janeba, 2008. "Viewing tax policy through party-colored glasses: What German politicians believe," Working Papers 0805, Oxford University Centre for Business Taxation.
  • Handle: RePEc:btx:wpaper:0805
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Osterloh, Steffen & Heinemann, Friedrich, 2013. "The political economy of corporate tax harmonization — Why do European politicians (dis)like minimum tax rates?," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 29(C), pages 18-37.
    2. Heinemann, Friedrich & Janeba, Eckhard & Schröder, Christoph & Streif, Frank, 2016. "Fiscal rules and compliance expectations – Evidence for the German debt brake," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 142(C), pages 11-23.
    3. Heinemann, Friedrich & Janeba, Eckhard & Moessinger, Marc-Daniel & Schröder, Christoph, 2013. "Revenue Autonomy Preference in German State Parliaments," Annual Conference 2013 (Duesseldorf): Competition Policy and Regulation in a Global Economic Order 79736, Verein für Socialpolitik / German Economic Association.
    4. Janeba, Eckhard & Osterloh, Steffen, 2012. "Tax and the city: A theory of local tax competition and evidence for Germany," ZEW Discussion Papers 12-005, ZEW - Zentrum für Europäische Wirtschaftsforschung / Center for European Economic Research.
    5. Blesse, Sebastian & Boyer, Pierre C. & Heinemann, Friedrich & Janeba, Eckhard, 2016. "Searching for a Franco-German consensus on the future of Europe: Survey results for Bundestag, Assemblée Nationale and Sénat," ZEW policy briefs 5/2016, ZEW - Zentrum für Europäische Wirtschaftsforschung / Center for European Economic Research.
    6. Janeba, Eckhard & Osterloh, Steffen, 2013. "Tax and the city — A theory of local tax competition," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 106(C), pages 89-100.
    7. Protte, Benjamin, 2012. "How does Economic Integration Change Personal Income Taxation? Evidence from a new Index of Potential Labor Mobility," Working Papers 12-20, University of Mannheim, Department of Economics.
    8. Osterloh, Steffen & Debus, Marc, 2012. "Partisan politics in corporate taxation," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 28(2), pages 192-207.
    9. Scharfenkamp Katrin, 2016. "It’s About Connections – How the Economic Network of the German Federal Government Affects the Top Earners’ Average Income Tax Rate," Journal of Economics and Statistics (Jahrbuecher fuer Nationaloekonomie und Statistik), De Gruyter, vol. 236(4), pages 427-453, August.
    10. Benny Geys & Steffen Osterloh, 2013. "Borders As Boundaries To Fiscal Policy Interactions? An Empirical Analysis Of Politicians’ Opinions On Rivals In The Competition For Firms," Journal of Regional Science, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 53(4), pages 583-606, October.
    11. Blesse, Sebastian & Boyer, Pierre C. & Heinemann, Friedrich & Janeba, Eckhard & Raj, Anasuya, 2017. "European Monetary Union reform preferences of French and German parliamentarians," ZEW Discussion Papers 17-059, ZEW - Zentrum für Europäische Wirtschaftsforschung / Center for European Economic Research.

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    Keywords

    Globalization; business taxation; beliefs; member of parliament; profit shifting; party discipline; yardstick competition;

    JEL classification:

    • D78 - Microeconomics - - Analysis of Collective Decision-Making - - - Positive Analysis of Policy Formulation and Implementation
    • D83 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - Search; Learning; Information and Knowledge; Communication; Belief; Unawareness
    • H25 - Public Economics - - Taxation, Subsidies, and Revenue - - - Business Taxes and Subsidies

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