Machiavellian Taxation? The political economy of public service financing
In this paper, we develop a simple theoretical model in order to explain how politicians choose between progressive and regressive tax schemes that serve to afford some local service production costs. It consists of a bipartisan model in which each party’s preferences are lexicographic, giving priority to winning but following ideological preferences given that it wins. Concerning voters, this model distinguishes for the first time in the literature between pragmatic majorities and social ones, and predicts what happens when both majorities have the same ideological sign and what happens when these majorities are in conflict. “Pragmatic” refers to local-specific considerations regarding general performance of the government while “social” makes reference to issues related to voters’ wealth status and social class. Ruling party’s identity follows from pragmatic considerations, but tax policies becomes a moderate equilibrium between ideological ruling party’s preferences and social majority’s ones. A tax policy would be extreme (either progressive or conservative) if and only if both social majority and pragmatic majority (ruling party) are of the same ideological sign. These predictions are successfully tested by OLS regression thru the use of a wide sample of municipalities concerning waste collection and treatment service- specific deficits.
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
- Tabellini, Guido & Alesina, Alberto, 1990.
"A Positive Theory of Fiscal Deficits and Government Debt,"
3612769, Harvard University Department of Economics.
- Alesina, Alberto & Tabellini, Guido, 1990. "A Positive Theory of Fiscal Deficits and Government Debt," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 57(3), pages 403-14, July.
- Ignacio Ortuño Orti´n, 2002. "Ideological versus Downsian political competition," Social Choice and Welfare, Springer, vol. 19(3), pages 551-567.
- Tilman Börgers, 2001.
NajEcon Working Paper Reviews
- Nouriel Roubini & Jeffrey Sachs, 1988. "Political and Economic Determinants of Budget Deficits in the IndustrialDemocracies," NBER Working Papers 2682, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Edin, P-A. & Ohlsson, H., 1990.
"Political Determinants Of Budget Deficits: Coalition Effects Versus Minority Effects,"
1990k, Uppsala - Working Paper Series.
- Edin, Per-Anders & Ohlsson, Henry, 1991. "Political determinants of budget deficits: Coalition effects versus minority effects," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 35(8), pages 1597-1603, December.
- 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.
- Alberto Alesina & Guido Tabellini, 1988.
"Voting on the Budget Deficit,"
NBER Working Papers
2759, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Guido Tabellini & Alberto Alesina, 1988. "Voting on the Budget Deficit," UCLA Economics Working Papers 539, UCLA Department of Economics.
- Alesina, Alberto F & Tabellini, Guido, 1988. "Voting on the Budget Deficit," CEPR Discussion Papers 269, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
- Tabellini, Guido & Alesina, Alberto, 1990. "Voting on the Budget Deficit," Scholarly Articles 4553030, Harvard University Department of Economics.
- Rogoff, Kenneth & Sibert, Anne, 1988.
"Elections and Macroeconomic Policy Cycles,"
Review of Economic Studies,
Wiley Blackwell, vol. 55(1), pages 1-16, January.
- Avinash Dixit & John Londregan, 1998. "Ideology, Tactics, And Efficiency In Redistributive Politics," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 113(2), pages 497-529, May.
- Henderson, J. Vernon, 1994. "Community choice of revenue instruments," Regional Science and Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 24(2), pages 159-183, April.
- Gill, H. Leroy & Haurin, Donald R., 2001. "The choice of tax base by local authorities: voter preferences, special interest groups, and tax base diversification," Regional Science and Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 31(6), pages 733-749, November.
- Roubini, Nouriel & Sachs, Jeffrey D., 1989. "Political and economic determinants of budget deficits in the industrial democracies," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 33(5), pages 903-933, May.
- Tim Besley & Stephen Coate, .
""An Economic Model of Representative Democracy'',"
CARESS Working Papres
95-02, University of Pennsylvania Center for Analytic Research and Economics in the Social Sciences.
- J. Biegeleisen & David Sjoquist, 1988. "Rational voting applied to choice of taxes," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 57(1), pages 39-47, April.
- Bruno Biais & Enrico Perotti, 2002. "Machiavellian Privatization," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 92(1), pages 240-258, March.
- William Stine, 1998. "Explaining the decision to repeal an optional local tax," Applied Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 30(3), pages 353-363.
- Paul R. Blackley & Larry DeBoer, 1987. "Tax Base Choice by Local Governments," Land Economics, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 63(3), pages 227-236.
- Roberto Ricciuti, 2004. "Political Fragmentation and Fiscal Outcomes," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 118(3_4), pages 365-388, 03.
- Hettich, Walter & Winer, Stanley, 1984. "A positive model of tax structure," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 24(1), pages 67-87, June.
- Cukierman, Alex, 1991. " Asymmetric Information and the Electoral Momentum of Public Opinion Polls," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 70(2), pages 181-213, May.
- Norstrand, Rolf, 1980. "The Choice between Income Tax and Land Tax in Danish Municipalities," Public Finance = Finances publiques, , vol. 35(3), pages 412-24.
- Bernhardt, M. Daniel & Ingerman, Daniel E., 1985. "Candidate reputations and the `incumbency effect'," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 27(1), pages 47-67, June.
- Stephen Coate & Michael Conlin, 2004. "A Group Rule–Utilitarian Approach to Voter Turnout: Theory and Evidence," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 94(5), pages 1476-1504, December.
When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:wpa:wuwppe:0409013. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.
For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (EconWPA)
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.