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Political Competition, Tax Salience and Accountability: Theory and Some Evidence from Italy

  • Emanuele Bracco
  • Francesco Porcelli
  • Michela Redoano

This paper argues that high political competition does not necessarily induce policy makers to perform better as previous research has shown. We develop a political economy model and we show that when political competition is tight, and elected politicians can rely on more tax instruments, they will substitute salient taxes with less salient ones, which are not necessarily preferable. These predictions are largely confirmed using a dataset on Italian municipal elections and taxes.

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Paper provided by CESifo Group Munich in its series CESifo Working Paper Series with number 4167.

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Date of creation: 2013
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:ces:ceswps:_4167
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  1. Albert Solé-Ollé & Pilar Sorribas-Navarro, 2006. "The Effects of Partisan Alignment on the Allocation of Intergovernmental Transfers. Differences-in-Differences Estimates for Spain," CESifo Working Paper Series 1855, CESifo Group Munich.
  2. Lee, David S., 2008. "Randomized experiments from non-random selection in U.S. House elections," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 142(2), pages 675-697, February.
  3. Looney, Adam & Kroft, Kory & Chetty, Raj, 2009. "Salience and Taxation: Theory and Evidence," Scholarly Articles 9748525, Harvard University Department of Economics.
  4. Guido Imbens & Karthik Kalyanaraman, 2010. "Optimal bandwidth choice for the regression discontinuity estimator," CeMMAP working papers CWP05/10, Centre for Microdata Methods and Practice, Institute for Fiscal Studies.
  5. Per Pettersson-Lidbom, 2008. "Do Parties Matter for Economic Outcomes? A Regression-Discontinuity Approach," Journal of the European Economic Association, MIT Press, vol. 6(5), pages 1037-1056, 09.
  6. Rogoff, Kenneth & Sibert, Anne, 1988. "Elections and Macroeconomic Policy Cycles," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 55(1), pages 1-16, January.
  7. Besley, Timothy & Smart, Michael, 2007. "Fiscal restraints and voter welfare," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 91(3-4), pages 755-773, April.
  8. Stefano Gagliarducci & Tommaso Nannicini & Paolo Naticchioni, 2007. "Outside income and moral hazard : the elusive quest for good politicians," Economics Working Papers we073218, Universidad Carlos III, Departamento de Economía.
  9. Faguet, Jean-Paul, 2004. "Does decentralization increase government responsiveness to local needs?: Evidence from Bolivia," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 88(3-4), pages 867-893, March.
  10. Arulampalam, Wiji & Dasgupta, Sugato & Dhillon, Amrita & Dutta, Bhaskar, 2008. "Electoral Goals and Center-State Transfers: A Theoretical Model and Empirical Evidence from India," IZA Discussion Papers 3376, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  11. Guido Imbens & Thomas Lemieux, 2007. "Regression Discontinuity Designs: A Guide to Practice," NBER Technical Working Papers 0337, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  12. Case, Anne, 2001. "Election goals and income redistribution: Recent evidence from Albania," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 45(3), pages 405-423, March.
  13. Jean Hindriks & Benjamin Lockwood, 2005. "Decentralization and Electoral Accountability: Incentives, Separation, and Voter Welfare," CESifo Working Paper Series 1509, CESifo Group Munich.
  14. James E. Alt & David Dreyer Lassen, 2003. "Fiscal Transparency and Fiscal Policy Outcomes in OECD Countries," EPRU Working Paper Series 03-02, Economic Policy Research Unit (EPRU), University of Copenhagen. Department of Economics.
  15. Besley, Timothy, 2007. "Principled Agents?: The Political Economy of Good Government," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, number 9780199283910, July.
  16. BORDIGNON, Massimo & MINELLI, Enrico, . "Rules transparency and political accountability," CORE Discussion Papers RP 1522, Université catholique de Louvain, Center for Operations Research and Econometrics (CORE).
  17. Massimo Bordignon & Santino Piazza, 2010. "Who do you blame in local finance? An analysis of municipal financing in Italy," DISCE - Quaderni dell'Istituto di Economia e Finanza ief0094, Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore, Dipartimenti e Istituti di Scienze Economiche (DISCE).
  18. Dixit, Avinash & Londregan, John, 1998. "Fiscal federalism and redistributive politics," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 68(2), pages 153-180, May.
  19. David S. Lee & Thomas Lemieux, 2010. "Regression Discontinuity Designs in Economics," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 48(2), pages 281-355, June.
  20. David S. Lee, 2001. "The Electoral Advantage to Incumbency and Voters' Valuation of Politicians' Experience: A Regression Discontinuity Analysis of Elections to the U.S..," NBER Working Papers 8441, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  21. repec:oup:restud:v:55:y:1988:i:1:p:1-16 is not listed on IDEAS
  22. Mundlak, Yair, 1978. "On the Pooling of Time Series and Cross Section Data," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 46(1), pages 69-85, January.
  23. repec:oup:qjecon:v:124:y:2009:i:3:p:969-1010 is not listed on IDEAS
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