Taxation and representation in recent history

Jeffrey Timmons

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

    Abstract

    This paper disaggregates government accounts to examine whether and how representation affects the level and distribution of taxation. Using panel data for over 100 countries from 1970 to 1999 and cross-sectional data for approximately 75 democracies from 1990 to 1998, we find that both democratization and voter turnout induced a modest but highly systematic increase in revenue from regressive taxes on consumption. While one-third of the increase due to democratization reflects a shift from more inefficient and similarly regressive taxes on trade, most of it was new revenue. Less convincingly, democratization and voter turnout also increased total tax revenue. By contrast, neither democracy, nor voter turnout systematically increased revenue from progressive taxes on income and capital. With reasonable assumptions about tax incidence and participation patterns, these findings shed light on competing conceptions of taxation and representation.

    Original languageEnglish (US)
    Pages (from-to)191-208
    Number of pages18
    JournalJournal of Politics
    Volume72
    Issue number1
    DOIs
    StatePublished - Jan 1 2010

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    voter turnout
    taxation
    democratization
    taxes
    revenue
    tax incidence
    history
    democracy
    tax revenue
    income
    participation

    ASJC Scopus subject areas

    • Sociology and Political Science

    Cite this

    Taxation and representation in recent history. / Timmons, Jeffrey.

    In: Journal of Politics, Vol. 72, No. 1, 01.01.2010, p. 191-208.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

    Timmons, Jeffrey. / Taxation and representation in recent history. In: Journal of Politics. 2010 ; Vol. 72, No. 1. pp. 191-208.
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