Engelmann, Dirk Janeba, Eckhard Mechtenberg, Lydia Wehrhöfer, Nils
Year of Publication:
Beiträge zur Jahrestagung des Vereins für Socialpolitik 2019: 30 Jahre Mauerfall - Demokratie und Marktwirtschaft - Session: Taxation II No. C11-V2
Mobility of high income individuals across borders puts pressure on governments to lower taxes. A central tenet of the underlying theoretical and empirical models is that mobile individuals react to tax differentials through migration, and in turn immobile households vote for lower taxes in the face of a migration threat. In light of behavioural economics research it is not clear, however, whether this premise holds. In particular, political ideology might influence voting on taxes. We use an experimental survey design and elicit answers from more than 3,000 households in the German Internet Panel (GIP).We use various treatments to understand the role of mobility and ideology in tax choice. We observe substantial deviations from the predicted theoretical equilibrium. In many cases comparative static results prevail, however. Furthermore, political ideology matters: left-leaning households choose higher taxes than right-leaning persons, and center-right leaning individuals tend to emigrate more when the tax at home is high.