Department of Political Science

Do parties matter for local revenue policies? A comparison of Denmark and Norway

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  • Department of Political Science
This paper investigates the impact of party ideology on revenue politics. Theoretically, claims can be made that party ideology should matter for revenue policies. First, leftist governments are more favorable towards government intervention and a large public sector. To accomplish this, leftist governments need more revenue than bourgeois governments. Second, revenue policy is a redistributive policy area well suited for ideological positioning. However, the claim that party ideology does not matter can also be made since raising revenue is unpopular, and politicians may shy away from new initiatives. Empirically, the question is unsettled. The paper investigates the problem by looking at three revenue policy areas (income and property taxation and user charges) in two countries (Denmark and Norway). It uses data from the municipal level and thus has several hundreds of units to compare. The evidence favors the "parties-matter"-argument, particularly in the Danish case.
Original languageEnglish
JournalEuropean Journal of Political Research
Pages (from-to)445-465
Number of pages21
Publication statusPublished - 2006

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