The right type of legislator : a theory of taxation and representation
Journal of public economics, 2018, Vol. 159, pp. 54-65
MATTOZZI, Andrea, SNOWBERG, Erik, The right type of legislator : a theory of taxation and representation, Journal of public economics, 2018, Vol. 159, pp. 54-65 - https://hdl.handle.net/1814/59992
Retrieved from Cadmus, EUI Research Repository
We develop a theory of taxation and the distribution of government spending in a citizen-candidate model of legislatures. Individuals are heterogeneous in two dimensions: productive ability in the private sector and negotiating ability in politics. When these are positively correlated, rich voters always prefer a rich legislator, but poor voters face a trade-off. A rich legislator will secure more pork for the district, but will also prefer lower taxation than the poor voter. Our theory organizes a number of stylized facts across countries about taxation and redistribution, parties, and class representation in legislatures. We demonstrate that spending does not necessarily increase when the number of legislators increases, as the standard common-pool intuition suggests, and that many policies aimed at increasing descriptive representation may have the opposite effect.
Available online: 22 February 2018
Cadmus permanent link: https://hdl.handle.net/1814/59992
Full-text via DOI: 10.1016/j.jpubeco.2018.01.009
Keyword(s): Citizen candidates Taxation Redistribution Representation Legislatures Political-economy Distributive politics Gender-differences Party competition Model Government Pork Redistribution Accountability Elections
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