Tax Contracts and Elections

64 Pages Posted: 28 Sep 2012

See all articles by Hans Gersbach

Hans Gersbach

ETH Zurich - CER-ETH -Center of Economic Reseaarch; IZA Institute of Labor Economics; CESifo (Center for Economic Studies and Ifo Institute); Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR)

Maik T. Schneider

University of Bath

Multiple version iconThere are 2 versions of this paper

Date Written: July 2012

Abstract

In this paper we examine the impact of tax contracts, a novel instrument, on elections, policies, and welfare. We consider a political game in which three parties compete to form the government and voters may behave strategically. Parties have policy preferences about the level of public-good provision and benefit from perks when in office. A government raises taxes for both purposes. We show that tax contracts yield moderate policies and lead to lower perks by avoiding the formation of grand coalitions in order to win government. Moreover, in polarized societies they unambiguously improve the welfare of the median voter.

Keywords: elections, government formation, political contracts, tax promise

JEL Classification: D72, D82, H55

Suggested Citation

Gersbach, Hans and Schneider, Maik T., Tax Contracts and Elections (July 2012). CEPR Discussion Paper No. DP9054. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2153505

Hans Gersbach (Contact Author)

ETH Zurich - CER-ETH -Center of Economic Reseaarch ( email )

Zürichbergstrasse 18
Zurich, 8092
Switzerland
+41 44 632 82 80 (Phone)
+41 44 632 18 30 (Fax)

IZA Institute of Labor Economics

P.O. Box 7240
Bonn, D-53072
Germany

CESifo (Center for Economic Studies and Ifo Institute)

Poschinger Str. 5
Munich, DE-81679
Germany

Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR)

London
United Kingdom

Maik T. Schneider

University of Bath ( email )

Claverton Down
Bath, BA2 7AY
United Kingdom

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