We measure the redistributive preferences of Dutch political parties using unique, detailed information from their election proposals. By employing the inverse optimal-tax method, we calculate the political weights across the income distribution for each political party. We find that all Dutch political parties give a higher political weight to middle incomes than to the poor. Moreover, the political weights of the rich are close to zero. Furthermore, we detect a strong political status quo bias as the political weights of all political parties hardly deviate from the weights implied by the pre-existing tax system. We argue that political-economy considerations are key in understanding these results.

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Keywords Inverse optimal-tax method, Political parties, Revealed social preferences
Persistent URL dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jpubeco.2017.08.002, hdl.handle.net/1765/108555
Journal Journal of Public Economics
Jacobs, B, Jongen, E.L.W. (Egbert L.W.), & Zoutman, F.T. (2017). Revealed social preferences of Dutch political parties. Journal of Public Economics, 156, 81–100. doi:10.1016/j.jpubeco.2017.08.002