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Voting and Nonlinear Taxes in a Stylized Representative Democracy

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  • Henning Bohn
  • Charles Stuart

Abstract

We derive median-voter results and study the shape of redistributional taxes when voters elect a candidate who imposes taxes to maximize own utility. Under general conditions, a median-productivity candidate is a Condorcet winner. The imposed tax function is nonlinear, may place high marginal rates on very low incomes, and may have an interval of negative marginal rates below the income of the winning candidate. Marginal rates are positive throughout, however, if non-redistributional spending or altruism toward the poor are great enough.

Suggested Citation

  • Henning Bohn & Charles Stuart, 2003. "Voting and Nonlinear Taxes in a Stylized Representative Democracy," CESifo Working Paper Series 1058, CESifo Group Munich.
  • Handle: RePEc:ces:ceswps:_1058
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    4. Martin J. Osborne & Al Slivinski, 1996. "A Model of Political Competition with Citizen-Candidates," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 111(1), pages 65-96.
    5. Roberts, Kevin W. S., 1977. "Voting over income tax schedules," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 8(3), pages 329-340, December.
    6. Meltzer, Allan H & Richard, Scott F, 1981. "A Rational Theory of the Size of Government," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 89(5), pages 914-927, October.
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    Cited by:

    1. Lars P. Feld & Justina A.V. Fischer & Gebhard Kirchgässner, 2010. "The Effect Of Direct Democracy On Income Redistribution: Evidence For Switzerland," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 48(4), pages 817-840, October.
    2. Michael Keen & Yitae Kim & Ricardo Varsano, 2008. "The “flat tax(es)”: principles and experience," International Tax and Public Finance, Springer;International Institute of Public Finance, vol. 15(6), pages 712-751, December.
    3. Georges Casamatta & Helmuth Cremer & Philippe De Donder, 2010. "Repeated electoral competition over nonlinear income tax schedules," Social Choice and Welfare, Springer;The Society for Social Choice and Welfare, vol. 35(4), pages 535-574, October.
    4. Miroslav Beblavý, 2011. "Why has the crisis been bad for private pensions, but good for the flat tax? The sustainability of ‘neoliberal’ reforms in the new EU member states," CEPS Papers 6313, Centre for European Policy Studies.
    5. Klor, Esteban F., 2006. "A positive model of overlapping income taxation in a federation of states," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 90(4-5), pages 703-723, May.

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