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Taxation and presidential approval: separate effects from tax burden and tax structure turbulence
[Besteuerung und Popularität von Politikern: Gibt es unterscheidbare Wirkungen aufgrund der Steuerlast und aufgrund von Veränderungen der Steuerstruktur?]

  • Geys, Benny
  • Vermeir, Jan

Previous research has established that taxation may entail significant electoral costs to politicians. This literature, however, focuses exclusively on the effect of the tax burden. In this paper, we test the hypothesis that both the level of the tax burden and the change in the tax structure affect the US president’s approval ratings (over the period 1959-2006). Our results support this proposition. Specifically, we find a negative impact from the levels of the tax burden and the deficit as well as from changes in the tax structure on presidential approval ratings.

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Paper provided by Social Science Research Center Berlin (WZB) in its series Discussion Papers, Research Unit: Market Processes and Governance with number SP II 2007-09.

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Date of creation: 2007
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:zbw:wzbmpg:spii200709
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  1. 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.
  2. Pissarides, Christopher A, 1980. "British Government Popularity and Economic Performance," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 90(3593), pages 569-81, September.
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  12. 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 213-45, June.
  13. Hibbs Jr., Douglas A., 2000. "Bread and Peace Voting in U.S. Presidential Elections," Working Papers in Economics 20, University of Gothenburg, Department of Economics.
  14. Ashworth, John & Heyndels, Bruno, 2002. " Tax Structure Turbulence in OECD Countries," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 111(3-4), pages 347-76, June.
  15. Besley, Timothy & Case, Anne, 1995. "Incumbent Behavior: Vote-Seeking, Tax-Setting, and Yardstick Competition," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 85(1), pages 25-45, March.
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  19. repec:tpr:qjecon:v:107:y:1992:i:2:p:327-61 is not listed on IDEAS
  20. Hausman, Jerry A, 1978. "Specification Tests in Econometrics," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 46(6), pages 1251-71, November.
  21. Geys, Benny & Vermeir, Jan, 2008. "The political cost of taxation: new evidence from German popularity ratings
    [Besteuerung und Popularität von Politikern: Neue Ergebnisse für die Deutsche Bundesregierung 1978-2003]
    ," Discussion Papers, Research Unit: Market Processes and Governance SP II 2008-06, Social Science Research Center Berlin (WZB).
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  25. Anne Case, 1994. "Taxes and the electoral cycle: how sensitive are governors to coming elections?," Business Review, Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia, issue Mar, pages 17-26.
  26. Ashworth, John & Geys, Benny & Heyndels, Bruno, 2006. "Determinants of tax innovation: The case of environmental taxes in Flemish municipalities," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 22(1), pages 223-247, March.
  27. Belke, Ansgar & Gocke, Matthias, 1999. "A Simple Model of Hysteresis in Employment under Exchange Rate Uncertainty," Scottish Journal of Political Economy, Scottish Economic Society, vol. 46(3), pages 260-86, August.
  28. Kahneman, Daniel & Tversky, Amos, 1979. "Prospect Theory: An Analysis of Decision under Risk," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 47(2), pages 263-91, March.
  29. Bordignon, Massimo & Cerniglia, Floriana & Revelli, Federico, 2003. "In search of yardstick competition: a spatial analysis of Italian municipality property tax setting," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 54(2), pages 199-217, September.
  30. Arthur Lewbel, 1997. "Constructing Instruments for Regressions with Measurement Error when no Additional Data are Available, with an Application to Patents and R&D," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 65(5), pages 1201-1214, September.
  31. Hettich, Walter & Winer, Stanley, 1984. "A positive model of tax structure," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 24(1), pages 67-87, June.
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