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Tax avoidance and the political appeal of progressivity

  • Matias Nunez

    (CECO - Laboratoire d'econometrie de l'école polytechnique - CNRS : UMR7657 - Polytechnique - X)

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    Empiriquement, on observe que la majorité des Etats a fait le choix d'un système d'imposition progressif. Pourtant, le fondement théorique de ce choix n'est pas évident. Si l'on interprète le système d'imposition appliquée comme le résultat d'un jeu entre deux partis politiques Downsiens, le fait que la majorité de la population soit relativement pauvre permet de conforter l'observation empirique. Cependant, des résultats théoriques récents montrent que, à l'équilibre, des électeurs purement égoïstes ne font pas toujours ce choix-là. Cet article tente de raffiner ces derniers modèles théoriques pour proposer une autre explication au choix d'un système progressif. Notre thèse est la suivante : la présence d'évasion fiscale – caractéristique importante des systèmes d'imposition sur le revenu – a des effets sur l'équilibre du jeu politique en modifiant les préférences des individus les plus riches de la société. Dans un premier temps, l'ensemble des équilibres en stratégies mixtes du jeu est caractérisé (pour des systèmes d'imposition de type quadratique), et on montre alors que l'évasion fiscale renforce l'élection de systèmes progressifs d'imposition. Dans un deuxième temps, on analyse un cas de système d'imposition de type “wiggling" en montrant que l'évasion fiscale mène, quand elle est suffisamment importante, à l'élection de systèmes progressifs d'imposition avec certitude.

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    Paper provided by HAL in its series Working Papers with number hal-00243060.

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    Date of creation: 2007
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    Handle: RePEc:hal:wpaper:hal-00243060
    Note: View the original document on HAL open archive server: http://hal.archives-ouvertes.fr/hal-00243060/en/
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    1. Nicola Persico & Alessandro Lizzeri, 2001. "The Provision of Public Goods under Alternative Electoral Incentives," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 91(1), pages 225-239, March.
    2. Brian Roberson, 2006. "The Colonel Blotto game," Economic Theory, Springer, vol. 29(1), pages 1-24, September.
    3. Bernhardt, Dan & Duggan, John & Squintani, Francesco, 2007. "Electoral competition with privately-informed candidates," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 58(1), pages 1-29, January.
    4. Hindriks, Jean, 2001. "Is there a demand for income tax progressivity?," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 73(1), pages 43-50, October.
    5. Carbonell-Nicolau, Oriol & Ok, Efe A., 2007. "Voting over income taxation," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 134(1), pages 249-286, May.
    6. Martin Feldstein, 1999. "Tax Avoidance And The Deadweight Loss Of The Income Tax," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 81(4), pages 674-680, November.
    7. Laslier, Jean-Francois & Picard, Nathalie, 2002. "Distributive Politics and Electoral Competition," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 103(1), pages 106-130, March.
    8. Banks, Jeffrey S. & Duggan, John & Le Breton, Michel, 2002. "Bounds for Mixed Strategy Equilibria and the Spatial Model of Elections," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 103(1), pages 88-105, March.
    9. Kvasov, Dmitriy, 2007. "Contests with limited resources," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 136(1), pages 738-748, September.
    10. Marhuenda, Francisco & Ortuno-Ortin, Ignacio, 1995. "Popular support for progressive taxation," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 48(3-4), pages 319-324, June.
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