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The political economy of peripheral tax reform : the Spanish fiscal transition

Torregrosa Hetland, Sara LU (2017) In Lund Papers in Economic History: General Issues
Abstract
The Spanish fiscal system underwent profound reforms between 1977 and 1986, in close connection to the transition from dictatorship to democracy. These were meant to bring the country towards the welfare state model of its European neighbours. Some practical results in terms of progressivity and redistribution, however, were not outstanding, and inequality did not significantly decrease after democratization. In recent times, the system has shown its incapacity to sustain European-level welfare services. Can a historical analysis help us understand the constraints faced by this young welfare state in the periphery? This paper looks at two factors in the political economy of tax reform: social preferences and the decision-making... (More)
The Spanish fiscal system underwent profound reforms between 1977 and 1986, in close connection to the transition from dictatorship to democracy. These were meant to bring the country towards the welfare state model of its European neighbours. Some practical results in terms of progressivity and redistribution, however, were not outstanding, and inequality did not significantly decrease after democratization. In recent times, the system has shown its incapacity to sustain European-level welfare services. Can a historical analysis help us understand the constraints faced by this young welfare state in the periphery? This paper looks at two factors in the political economy of tax reform: social preferences and the decision-making institutions. Perhaps the general citizen – or the decisive voter – was not very keen on redistribution. Alternatively, the new political system might not have translated effectively the public stances onto policies. Furthermore, at this time of the transition, international developments were changing the emphasis from equity to efficiency in tax system design, and increasing capital mobility provided an enhanced capacity to escape from taxation. (Less)
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author
organization
publishing date
type
Working Paper
publication status
published
subject
keywords
redistribution, tax reform, public policy, democratization, distributive preferences, D72, D78, H20, N44
in
Lund Papers in Economic History: General Issues
issue
156
pages
48 pages
publisher
Department of Economic History, Lund University
ISSN
1101-346X
language
English
LU publication?
yes
id
16702641-1290-4856-9c32-32788db1ea90
date added to LUP
2017-03-13 08:30:21
date last changed
2017-03-13 08:30:21
@misc{16702641-1290-4856-9c32-32788db1ea90,
  abstract     = {The Spanish fiscal system underwent profound reforms between 1977 and 1986, in close connection to the transition from dictatorship to democracy. These were meant to bring the country towards the welfare state model of its European neighbours. Some practical results in terms of progressivity and redistribution, however, were not outstanding, and inequality did not significantly decrease after democratization. In recent times, the system has shown its incapacity to sustain European-level welfare services. Can a historical analysis help us understand the constraints faced by this young welfare state in the periphery? This paper looks at two factors in the political economy of tax reform: social preferences and the decision-making institutions. Perhaps the general citizen – or the decisive voter – was not very keen on redistribution. Alternatively, the new political system might not have translated effectively the public stances onto policies. Furthermore, at this time of the transition, international developments were changing the emphasis from equity to efficiency in tax system design, and increasing capital mobility provided an enhanced capacity to escape from taxation.},
  author       = {Torregrosa Hetland, Sara},
  issn         = {1101-346X},
  keyword      = {redistribution,tax reform,public policy,democratization,distributive preferences,D72,D78,H20,N44},
  language     = {eng},
  note         = {Working Paper},
  number       = {156},
  pages        = {48},
  publisher    = {Department of Economic History, Lund University},
  series       = {Lund Papers in Economic History: General Issues},
  title        = {The political economy of peripheral tax reform : the Spanish fiscal transition},
  year         = {2017},
}