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A Positive Theory of Income Taxation

  • Oriol Carbonell-Nicolau

    ()

    (Rutgers University)

We propose a dynamic version of the standard two-party electoral competition model adapted to nonlinear income taxation. The theory has a number of desirable features. First, equilibria always exist, even though the set of admissible tax policies is multidimensional. Second, the Nash set can be characterized generically, and its components give sharp predictions. Third, the features of equilibrium tax policies depend only on empirically meaningful fundamentals. Equilibrium tax schedules benefit the more numerous income groups and place the burden of taxation on income groups with fewer voters. For empirical income distributions, the features of an equilibrium tax schedule are reminiscent of Director's law of public income redistribution (Stigler [36]).

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Paper provided by Rutgers University, Department of Economics in its series Departmental Working Papers with number 200706.

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Length: 20 pages
Date of creation: 26 Oct 2007
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:rut:rutres:200706
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  1. Carbonell-Nicolau, Oriol & Ok, Efe A., 2007. "Voting over income taxation," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 134(1), pages 249-286, May.
  2. Carbonell-Nicolau, Oriol & Klor, Esteban F., 2003. "Representative democracy and marginal rate progressive income taxation," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 87(5-6), pages 1137-1164, May.
  3. De Donner, P. & Hindriks, J., 2000. "The Politics of Progressive Income Taxation with Incentive Effects," Papers 00-542, Toulouse - GREMAQ.
  4. Alessandro Lizzeri & Nicola Persico, . ""The Provision of Public Goods Under Alternative Electoral Incentives''," CARESS Working Papres 98-08, University of Pennsylvania Center for Analytic Research and Economics in the Social Sciences.
  5. 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.
  6. Jackson, Matthew O. & Dekel, Eddie & Wolinsky, Asher, 2005. "Vote buying," Working Papers 1215, California Institute of Technology, Division of the Humanities and Social Sciences.
    • Eddie Dekel & Matthew O. Jackson & Asher Wolinsky, 2005. "Vote Buying," Others 0503006, EconWPA.
    • Eddie Dekel & Matthew O. Jackson & Asher Wolinsky, 2004. "Vote Buying," Discussion Papers 1386, Northwestern University, Center for Mathematical Studies in Economics and Management Science.
  7. Marhuenda, Francisco & Ortuno-Ortin, Ignacio, 1995. "Popular support for progressive taxation," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 48(3-4), pages 319-324, June.
  8. Meltzer, Allan H & Richard, Scott F, 1981. "A Rational Theory of the Size of Government," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 89(5), pages 914-27, October.
  9. John E. Roemer, . "The Democratic Political Economy Of Progressive Income Taxation," Department of Economics 97-11, California Davis - Department of Economics.
  10. Jean Hindriks, 2000. "Is There a Demand for Income Tax Progressivity?," Working Papers 415, Queen Mary University of London, School of Economics and Finance.
  11. Roberts, Kevin W. S., 1977. "Voting over income tax schedules," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 8(3), pages 329-340, December.
  12. Aumann, Robert J & Kurz, Mordecai, 1977. "Power and Taxes," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 45(5), pages 1137-61, July.
  13. Francisco Marhuenda Hurtado & Ignacio Ortuño Ortín, 1997. "Income taxation, uncertaintly and stability," Working Papers. Serie AD 1997-07, Instituto Valenciano de Investigaciones Económicas, S.A. (Ivie).
  14. Saez, Emmanuel, 2001. "Using Elasticities to Derive Optimal Income Tax Rates," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 68(1), pages 205-29, January.
  15. Gouveia, Miguel & Oliver, David, 1996. "Voting over flat taxes in an endowment economy," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 50(2), pages 251-258, February.
  16. Sanghamitra Bandyopadhyay & Joan Esteban, 2007. "Redistributive Taxation and Public Expenditures," Economics Series Working Papers 366, University of Oxford, Department of Economics.
  17. Roland Benabou, 2000. "Unequal Societies: Income Distribution and the Social Contract," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 90(1), pages 96-129, March.
  18. Chen, Yan, 2000. " Electoral Systems, Legislative Process, and Income Taxation," Journal of Public Economic Theory, Association for Public Economic Theory, vol. 2(1), pages 71-100.
  19. Laslier, Jean-Francois & Picard, Nathalie, 2002. "Distributive Politics and Electoral Competition," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 103(1), pages 106-130, March.
  20. Romer, Thomas, 1975. "Individual welfare, majority voting, and the properties of a linear income tax," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 4(2), pages 163-185, February.
  21. Snyder, James M. & Kramer, Gerald H., 1988. "Fairness, self-interest, and the politics of the progressive income tax," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 36(2), pages 197-230, July.
  22. Sanghamitra Bandyopadhyay & Joan Esteban, 2007. "Redistributive Taxation and PublicExpenditures," STICERD - Distributional Analysis Research Programme Papers 95, Suntory and Toyota International Centres for Economics and Related Disciplines, LSE.
  23. Assar Lindbeck & Jörgen Weibull, 1987. "Balanced-budget redistribution as the outcome of political competition," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 52(3), pages 273-297, January.
  24. Hettich, Walter & Winer, Stanley L, 1988. "Economic and Political Foundations of Tax Structure," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 78(4), pages 701-12, September.
  25. David Austen-Smith, 2000. "Redistributing Income under Proportional Representation," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 108(6), pages 1235-1269, December.
  26. Berliant, M. & Gouveia, M., 1991. "On Political Economy of Income Taxation," RCER Working Papers 288, University of Rochester - Center for Economic Research (RCER).
  27. Kranich, Laurence, 2001. " Altruism and the Political Economy of Income Taxation," Journal of Public Economic Theory, Association for Public Economic Theory, vol. 3(4), pages 455-69.
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