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A Probabilistic Voting Model of Progressive Taxation with Incentive Effects

This paper shows conditions under which a marginally progressive income tax emerges as the outcome of political competition between two parties, when labor is elastically supplied and candidates are uncertain about voters' choice at election day. Assuming the elasticity of labor is decreasing on marginal wage; following Coughlin and Nitzan (1981) only marginal progressive taxes are played by both candidates in equilibrium. If; instead, we adopt Lindbeck and Weibull (1989) probabilistic voting model, the equilibrium tax schedule will be progressive as long as the political power of the rich voter is sufficiently small. The degree of progressivity decreases with population polarization.

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Paper provided by Universitat de les Illes Balears, Departament d'Economía Aplicada in its series DEA Working Papers with number 34.

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Date of creation: 2009
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Handle: RePEc:ubi:deawps:34
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  1. Roberts, Kevin W. S., 1977. "Voting over income tax schedules," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 8(3), pages 329-340, December.
  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. Gene Grossman & Elhanan Helpman, 1994. "Electoral Competition and Special Interest Politics," NBER Working Papers 4877, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  4. John Roemer, 2003. "The Democratic Political Economy Of Progressive Income Taxation," Working Papers 9711, University of California, Davis, Department of Economics.
  5. Hindriks, Jean, 2001. "Is there a demand for income tax progressivity?," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 73(1), pages 43-50, October.
  6. Philippe De Donder & Jean Hindriks, 2000. "The Politics of Progressive Income Taxation with Incentive Effects," Working Papers 416, Queen Mary University of London, School of Economics and Finance.
  7. Coughlin, Peter & Nitzan, Shmuel, 1981. "Electoral outcomes with probabilistic voting and Nash social welfare maxima," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 15(1), pages 113-121, February.
  8. Roland Benabou, 2000. "Unequal Societies: Income Distribution and the Social Contract," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 90(1), pages 96-129, March.
  9. Francisco Marhuenda & Ignacio Ortuño Ortín, 1995. "Popular Support For Progressive Taxation," Working Papers. Serie AD 1995-15, Instituto Valenciano de Investigaciones Económicas, S.A. (Ivie).
  10. Assar Lindbeck & Jörgen Weibull, 1987. "Balanced-budget redistribution as the outcome of political competition," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 52(3), pages 273-297, January.
  11. Casamatta, Georges & Cremer, Helmuth & Pestieau, Pierre, 2004. "Is There a Political Support for the Double Burden on Prolonged Activity?," CEPR Discussion Papers 4706, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  12. Laussel, Didier & Le Breton, Michel, 2002. "Unidimensional Downsian politics: median, utilitarian or what else?," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 76(3), pages 351-356, August.
  13. 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.
  14. Marhuenda, Francisco & Ortuno-Ortin, Ignacio, 1995. "Popular support for progressive taxation," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 48(3-4), pages 319-324, June.
  15. Carbonell-Nicolau, Oriol & Ok, Efe A., 2007. "Voting over income taxation," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 134(1), pages 249-286, May.
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