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Revealed social preferences of Dutch political parties

Bas Jacobs, Egbert L.W. Jongen and Floris T. Zoutman

Journal of Public Economics, 2017, vol. 156, issue C, 81-100

Abstract: We measure the redistributive preferences of Dutch political parties using unique, detailed information from their election proposals. By employing the inverse optimal-tax method, we calculate the political weights across the income distribution for each political party. We find that all Dutch political parties give a higher political weight to middle incomes than to the poor. Moreover, the political weights of the rich are close to zero. Furthermore, we detect a strong political status quo bias as the political weights of all political parties hardly deviate from the weights implied by the pre-existing tax system. We argue that political-economy considerations are key in understanding these results.

Keywords: Inverse optimal-tax method; Revealed social preferences; Political parties (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: C63 D72 H21 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2017
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