Omission of collective choice prevents the analyst from understanding the central role of political equilibrium. To create a framework that places tax policies in a broader equilibrium context, we must model the underlying collective allocation mechanism and use it as a starting point, whether we do empirical work explaining observed features of tax systems or whether we engage in research on tax efficiency. A broader perspective of this nature also forces us to re-examine well-known concepts, such as tax expenditures, flat taxation, and the marginal efficiency cost of public funds, and to question and reinterpret some of the conclusions that have been reached in the literature related to these concepts.

National Tax Journal
Department of Economics

Winer, S, & Hettich, W. (Walter). (1998). What is missed if we leave out collective choice in the analysis of taxation. National Tax Journal, 51(2), 373–389.