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Reforming a complicated income tax system: The political economics perspective

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Abstract

In this paper we analyze the political economics of different strategies to implement revenue neutral reforms of a complicated income tax system (�tax-cut-cum-base-broadening�). We set up a straightforward social choice model where individuals initially have two deduction possibilities from the tax base. The government wants to cut back the tax base exemptions and it can do so symmetrically or asymmetrically. Asymmetrical approaches face the difficulty that even such individuals can vote against an isolated cut (or an abolishment) of a single tax concession who benefit below average from it. In some constellations a symmetrical cut is in fact the only politically feasible option, whereas all asymmetrical reforms would not be supported by the public.

Suggested Citation

  • Salvatore Barbaro & Jens Südekum, 2004. "Reforming a complicated income tax system: The political economics perspective," Departmental Discussion Papers 120, University of Goettingen, Department of Economics.
  • Handle: RePEc:got:vwldps:120
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    File URL: http://www2.vwl.wiso.uni-goettingen.de/departmentpaper/NO_120.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Salvatore Barbaro, 2002. "The Distributional Impact of Subsidies to Higher Education - Empirical Evidence from Germany," FinanzArchiv: Public Finance Analysis, Mohr Siebeck, Tübingen, vol. 59(4), pages 458-458, December.
    2. Andreas Haufler & Michael Pflüger, 2004. "International Commodity Taxation under Monopolistic Competition," Journal of Public Economic Theory, Association for Public Economic Theory, vol. 6(3), pages 445-470, August.
    3. Johann Graf Lambsdorff & Sitki Utku Teksoz, 2002. "Corrupt Relational Contracting," Departmental Discussion Papers 113, University of Goettingen, Department of Economics.
    4. Sieg, Gernot, 2001. "A political business cycle with boundedly rational agents," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 17(1), pages 39-52, March.
    5. Haufler, A. & Schjelderup, G. & Stahler, F., 2000. "Commodity Taxation and International Trade in Imperfect Markets," Papers 17/00, Norwegian School of Economics and Business Administration-.
    6. Jens Suedekum, 2005. "Increasing returns and spatial unemployment disparities," Papers in Regional Science, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 84(2), pages 159-181, June.
    7. Salvatore Barbaro, 2003. "The Combined Effect of Taxation and Subsidization on Human Capital Investment," Departmental Discussion Papers 116, University of Goettingen, Department of Economics.
    8. Christoph Sauer & Margit Schratzenstaller, 2002. "Strategies Of International Fiscal Competition For Foreign Direct Investment In A Model With Impure Public Inputs," Departmental Discussion Papers 115, University of Goettingen, Department of Economics.
    9. Tim Krieger, 2001. "Intergenerational Redistribution and Labor Mobility: A Survey," FinanzArchiv: Public Finance Analysis, Mohr Siebeck, Tübingen, vol. 58(3), pages 339-339, July.
    10. Jens Suedekum & Peter Ruehmann, 2003. "Severance Payments and Firm-specific Human Capital," LABOUR, CEIS, vol. 17(1), pages 47-62, March.
    11. Jens Südekum, 2001. "Home Goods and Regional Price Indices: A Perspective from New Economic Geography," Departmental Discussion Papers 109, University of Goettingen, Department of Economics.
    12. Onozaki, Tamotsu & Sieg, Gernot & Yokoo, Masanori, 2003. "Stability, chaos and multiple attractors: a single agent makes a difference," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 27(10), pages 1917-1938, August.
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    Cited by:

    1. Tatiana Malinina, 2010. "Recognition and Measurement of Tax Expenditures: International Experience and Russian Practice," Research Paper Series, Gaidar Institute for Economic Policy, issue 146P.
    2. Petra Enß & Robert Schwager, 2006. "Kommunaler Finanzausgleich und Gewerbesteuerhebesätze in Niedersachsen," Departmental Discussion Papers 127, University of Goettingen, Department of Economics.
    3. Sascha Wolff, 2006. "Migration und ihre Determinanten im ost-westdeutschen Kontext nach der Wiedervereinigung: Ein Literaturüberblick," Departmental Discussion Papers 130, University of Goettingen, Department of Economics.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    income tax reform; public choice;

    JEL classification:

    • D72 - Microeconomics - - Analysis of Collective Decision-Making - - - Political Processes: Rent-seeking, Lobbying, Elections, Legislatures, and Voting Behavior
    • D74 - Microeconomics - - Analysis of Collective Decision-Making - - - Conflict; Conflict Resolution; Alliances; Revolutions

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