Viewing Tax Policy Through Party-Colored Glasses: What German Politicians Believe

Authors


Address for correspondence: Eckhard Janeba, Department of Economics, University of Mannheim, L7, 3-5, 68131 Mannheim, Germany. Tel./fax: +49 621 181 1795; e-mail: janeba@uni-mannheim.de

Abstract

Abstract. The process of globalization has an important impact on national tax policies. Most of the literature does not focus directly on the political decision-making process and assumes that the desired tax policy is responding to objective underlying tradeoffs. Based on an original survey of members of the German national parliament (Bundestag) in 2006/07, we document a strong ideological bias among policy-makers with respect to the perceived mobility of international tax bases (real capital and paper profits). Ideology also influences, directly and indirectly, the perceived national autonomy in tax setting and preferences for a European Union minimum tax for companies. There seems little consensus as to what the efficiency costs of capital taxation in open economies are, even though our survey falls in a period of extensive debate about, and actual adoption of, a company tax reform bill in Germany.

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