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Dynamic Bargaining over Redistribution in Legislatures

  • Alessandro Riboni

    (University of Montreal)

  • Facundo Piguillem

    (Einaudi Institute for Economic and Finance(EIEF))

This paper analyzes the standard Neoclassical growth model where agents are heterogeneous in their initial wealth. Wealth can be taxed in order to finance equal lump-sum transfers. We consider a representative democracy where elected officials select the current capital tax by playing a legislative bargaining game. Specifically, one member of the legislature makes a take-it-or-leave-it proposal and decisions pass by majority rule. In case of rejection of the proposal, the capital tax that was voted in the previous period (the status quo) is kept in place for one more period. A key feature of the bargaining game is that when looking at current payoffs both the agenda setter and the legislature have aligned preferences: their most preferred static policy is full taxation. However, the strength of these preferences differ. We show that the fear of ending in a high taxation equilibrium sustains levels of capital taxes and redistribution that are empirically reasonable. The endogeneity of the status quo is a crucial ingredient which disciplines legislators and reduces commitment problems. We also find that higher wealth inequality does not necessarily increase the size of government (the share of income redistributed).

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Paper provided by Society for Economic Dynamics in its series 2011 Meeting Papers with number 1320.

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Date of creation: 2011
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Handle: RePEc:red:sed011:1320
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  1. Alessandro Riboni & Francisco J. Ruge-Murcia, 2010. "Monetary Policy by Committee: Consensus, Chairman Dominance, or Simple Majority?," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 125(1), pages 363-416, February.
  2. Barseghyan, Levon & Battaglini, Marco & Coate, Stephen, 2013. "Fiscal policy over the real business cycle: A positive theory," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 148(6), pages 2223-2265.
  3. Alessandro Riboni, 2010. "Committees As Substitutes For Commitment," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 51(1), pages 213-236, 02.
  4. marina, azzimonti, 2009. "Barriers to investment in polarized societies," MPRA Paper 25936, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  5. Dean Corbae, 2007. "Politico-Economic Consequences of Rising Wage Inequality," 2007 Meeting Papers 129, Society for Economic Dynamics.
  6. Marco Bassetto & Jess Benhabib, 2006. "Redistribution, taxes, and the median voter," Working Paper Series WP-06-02, Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago.
  7. Mark Aguiar & Manuel Amador, 2009. "Growth in the Shadow of Expropriation," Discussion Papers 08-051, Stanford Institute for Economic Policy Research.
  8. Christopher Phelan & Ennio Stacchetti, 2001. "Sequential Equilibria in a Ramsey Tax Model," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 69(6), pages 1491-1518, November.
  9. Facundo Piguillem & Anderson Schneider, 2013. "Heterogeneous Labor Skills, The Median Voter and Labor Taxes," Review of Economic Dynamics, Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics, vol. 16(2), pages 332-349, April.
  10. Conesa, Juan Carlos & Kitao, Sagiri & Krueger, Dirk, 2006. "Taxing Capital? Not a Bad Idea After All!," CEPR Discussion Papers 5929, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  11. John Duggan & Tasos Kalandrakis, 2011. "A Newton collocation method for solving dynamic bargaining games," Social Choice and Welfare, Springer, vol. 36(3), pages 611-650, April.
  12. Marco Bassetto, 2008. "Political Economy of Taxation in an Overlapping-Generations Economy," Review of Economic Dynamics, Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics, vol. 11(1), pages 18-43, January.
  13. Piketty, Thomas & Saez, Emmanuel, 2012. "A Theory of Optimal Capital Taxation," CEPR Discussion Papers 8946, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  14. Ruediger Bachmann & Jinhui Bai, 2013. "Politico-Economic Inequality and the Comovement of Government Purchases," Review of Economic Dynamics, Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics, vol. 16(4), pages 565-580, October.
  15. Marina, Azzimonti & Marco, Battaglini & Stephen, Coate, 2010. "On the Case for a Balanced Budget Amendment to the U.S. Constitution," MPRA Paper 25935, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  16. Krusell, Per & Quadrini, Vincenzo & Rios-Rull, Jose-Victor, 1997. "Politico-economic equilibrium and economic growth," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 21(1), pages 243-272, January.
  17. Kalandrakis, Anastassios, 2004. "A three-player dynamic majoritarian bargaining game," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 116(2), pages 294-322, June.
  18. Marina Azzimonti & Eva de Francisco & Per Krusell, 2006. "Median-voter Equilibria in the Neoclassical Growth Model under Aggregation," Scandinavian Journal of Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 108(4), pages 587-606, December.
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