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 MPIfG Books



Steffen Ganghof
The Politics of Income Taxation
Colchester: ECPR Press, 2006
200 pages | ISBN 978-0-9547966-8-6 | £22.00
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Abstract | Contents | Review | Author




Marginal income tax rates in advanced industrial countries have fallen dramatically since the mid-1980s, but level and progressivity of income taxation continue to differ strongly across countries. This study offers a new perspective on both observations. It blends theoretical inquiry with focused quantitative analysis and in-depth investigation of seven countries: Germany, Australia and New Zealand as well as Denmark, Finland, Norway and Sweden. The study highlights the equity-efficiency tradeoffs that structure the politics of income taxation and analyses how income taxes are embedded in broader tax systems. It explains the limited but enduring importance of political parties and democratic institutions. Finally, the study paints a nuanced picture of the role of globalisation and thus also sheds lights on the pros and cons of tax coordination at the European and international levels.



Chapter 1   Introduction [PDF]

Chapter 2   Conceptual and methodological issues in empirical veto player analysis

Chapter 3   Policy ideal types, policy change and the constraint of tax competition

Chapter 4   Domestic constraints and international policy differences

Chapter 5   Income tax reform in Australia and New Zealand

Chapter 6   Income tax reform in Scandinavia

Chapter 7   Income tax reform in Germany

Chapter 8   Party ideology, veto points and the setting of top marginal tax rates
Conclusion   Income tax policy in open economies
Appendix   Country abbreviations, sources and definitions



Book review by Carsten Jensen in: Journal of European Social Policy 18(2), 2008, 207-208.
[Full text via publisher]



Steffen Ganghof is Assistant Professor of Comparative Politics at the University of Mannheim. Previously he was Senior Research Fellow at the Max Planck Institute for the Study of Societies in Cologne. His research focuses on comparative political institutions and political economy, and his articles have appeared or are forthcoming in scholarly journals such as the Australian Journal of Political Science, Comparative Political Studies, Global Social Policy, Party Politics and the Swiss Political Science Review, among others.
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