Taxation and credible commitment left, right, and partisan turnover

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Taxation is partly a game of credible commitment. Data for eighteen OECD countries show that partisan turnover systematically affects the long-run equilibrium mix of taxes and services. When partisan turnover is low, more right-wing influence permanently increases corporate tax revenue and the corporate share of pre-tax income; more left-wing influence, by contrast, permanently increases consumption tax revenue and social spending. When turnover is high, even powerful partisans do not increase taxes that disproportionately affect their supporters. When partisans tax their own supporters, they raise more revenue, even when we account for some plausible benefits. The theoretical conjectures are consistent with the pattern of partisan behavior within countries, not just between them.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)207-227
Number of pages21
JournalComparative Politics
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jan 2010

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Sociology and Political Science


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