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The Political Economy of Taxation: Positive and Normative Analysis when Collective Choice Matters

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Abstract

In this paper we review both positive and normative aspects of taxation. We examine how to study why taxes and revenue structures have taken their present form and why they are used in a particular way as part of the democratic process. In addition, we also consider the classic normative questions, namely what makes a good tax system and how to assess the efficiency of taxation. In dealing with both aspects of the tax literature, we attempt to set out a plan for a more complete and comprehensive analysis of taxation in the face of collective choice than is attempted in most of the available literature on fiscal issues.

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  • Stanley L. Winer & Walter Hettich, 2002. "The Political Economy of Taxation: Positive and Normative Analysis when Collective Choice Matters," Carleton Economic Papers 02-11, Carleton University, Department of Economics, revised 2004.
  • Handle: RePEc:car:carecp:02-11
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    Keywords

    taxation; revenue structure; collective choice; democratic process; optimal tax.;

    JEL classification:

    • D70 - Microeconomics - - Analysis of Collective Decision-Making - - - General
    • H10 - Public Economics - - Structure and Scope of Government - - - General
    • H11 - Public Economics - - Structure and Scope of Government - - - Structure and Scope of Government
    • H20 - Public Economics - - Taxation, Subsidies, and Revenue - - - General
    • H21 - Public Economics - - Taxation, Subsidies, and Revenue - - - Efficiency; Optimal Taxation

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