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Tax Policy from Public Choice Perspective

  • Holcombe, R.G.

Despite the fact that the tax structure is a product of the political process, rarely does an economic analysis of tax policy take account of the political environment within which the tax structure is designed. The analysis that follows begins with the recognition that the political system uses resources to desing tax systems, and these costs should be taken into account along with other welfare costs of the tax system. While public choice theory might offer much to help advance the theory of taxation, the main focus of this essay will be policy-oriented, and will begin by explicitly recognizing the political costs that are created when people try to influence tax law for their benefit.

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Paper provided by Department of Economics, Florida State University in its series Working Papers with number 1998_03_02.

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Length: 23 pages
Date of creation: 1998
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:fsu:wpaper:1998_03_02
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  1. Joel Slemrod, 1989. "Optimal Taxation and Optimal Tax Systems," NBER Working Papers 3038, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. Buchanan, James M., 1993. "The Political Efficiency of General Taxation," National Tax Journal, National Tax Association, vol. 46(4), pages 401-10, December.
  3. Weingast, Barry R & Shepsle, Kenneth A & Johnsen, Christopher, 1981. "The Political Economy of Benefits and Costs: A Neoclassical Approach to Distributive Politics," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 89(4), pages 642-64, August.
  4. Buchanan, James M., 1976. "Taxation in fiscal exchange," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 6(1-2), pages 17-29.
  5. Sam Peltzman, 1980. "The Growth of Government," University of Chicago - George G. Stigler Center for Study of Economy and State 1, Chicago - Center for Study of Economy and State.
  6. Stigler, George J, 1970. "Director's Law of Public Income Redistribution," Journal of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 13(1), pages 1-10, April.
  7. Charles M. Tiebout, 1956. "A Pure Theory of Local Expenditures," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 64, pages 416.
  8. Becker, Gary S, 1983. "A Theory of Competition among Pressure Groups for Political Influence," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 98(3), pages 371-400, August.
  9. Wittman, Donald, 1989. "Why Democracies Produce Efficient Results," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 97(6), pages 1395-1424, December.
  10. James M. Buchanan, 1963. "The Economics of Earmarked Taxes," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 71, pages 457.
  11. Mirrlees, James A, 1971. "An Exploration in the Theory of Optimum Income Taxation," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 38(114), pages 175-208, April.
  12. Lott, John R, Jr, 1997. " Does Political Reform Increase Wealth?: Or, Why the Difference between the Chicago and Virginia Schools Is Really an Elasticity Question," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 91(3-4), pages 219-27, June.
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