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Tax projections in German states – manipulated by opportunistic incumbent parties?


  • Bischoff, Ivo
  • Gohout, Wolfgang


This paper analyses the accuracy of the tax projections of West German states from a public choice perspective. It argues that state governments have the possibility and face incentives to manipulate tax projections. Evidence for the years 1992 – 2002 reveals a general upward bias in tax projections in election as well as non-election years. The degree of overestimation is higher, the less popular the incumbent party is. Partisanship and elections have no significant influence. To improve external control of state governments in the budget process, the process of tax projections must be made transparent.

Suggested Citation

  • Bischoff, Ivo & Gohout, Wolfgang, 2006. "Tax projections in German states – manipulated by opportunistic incumbent parties?," Finanzwissenschaftliche Arbeitspapiere 74, Justus Liebig University Giessen, Fachbereich Wirtschaftswissenschaften.
  • Handle: RePEc:zbw:jlufwa:74

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. van Dalen, Hendrik P & Swank, Otto H, 1996. "Government Spending Cycles: Ideological or Opportunistic?," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 89(1-2), pages 183-200, October.
    2. Nannestad, Peter & Paldam, Martin, 1994. "The VP-Function: A Survey of the Literature on Vote and Popularity Functions after 25 Years," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 79(3-4), pages 213-245, June.
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    Cited by:

    1. Stijn Goeminne & Benny Geys & Carine Smolders, 2008. "Political fragmentation and projected tax revenues: evidence from Flemish municipalities," International Tax and Public Finance, Springer;International Institute of Public Finance, vol. 15(3), pages 297-315, June.
    2. Berger, Helge & Holler, Anika, 2007. "What determines fiscal policy? Evidence from German states," Discussion Papers 2008/12, Free University Berlin, School of Business & Economics.
    3. Bernardino Benito & María-Dolores Guillamón & Francisco Bastida, 2015. "Budget Forecast Deviations in Municipal Governments: Determinants and Implications," Australian Accounting Review, CPA Australia, vol. 25(1), pages 45-70, March.

    More about this item


    tax projections; political parties; budget process; public expenditures;

    JEL classification:

    • D72 - Microeconomics - - Analysis of Collective Decision-Making - - - Political Processes: Rent-seeking, Lobbying, Elections, Legislatures, and Voting Behavior
    • H72 - Public Economics - - State and Local Government; Intergovernmental Relations - - - State and Local Budget and Expenditures


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