We study how rich shareholders use their political influence to deregulate firms that they own, thus skewing the income distribution towards themselves. Individuals differ in productivity and choose how much labor to supply. High productivity individuals also own shares in the productive sector and thus earn capital income. All individuals vote over a linear tax rate on (labor and capital) income whose proceeds are redistributed lump sum. Shareholders also lobby in order to ease the price cap imposed on the private firm. We first solve analytically for the Kantian equilibrium of this lobbying game together with the majority voting equilibrium over the tax rate. We then proceed to a comparative statics analysis of the model with the help of numerical simulations. We obtain that, as the capital income distribution becomes more concentrated among the top productivity individuals, increased lobbying effort generates efficiency as well as equity costs, with lower labor supply and lower average utility levels in society.
kantian equilibrium; lobbying; political economy and regulatory capture;
- D72: Political Processes: Rent-Seeking, Lobbying, Elections, Legislatures, and Voting Behavior
- H31: Household
Philippe De Donder, and John E. Roemer, “An allegory of the political influence of the top 1%”, TSE Working Paper, n. 13-455, November 2013.
Philippe De Donder, and John E. Roemer, “An allegory of the political influence of the top 1%”, Business and Politics, vol. 18, “1”, April 2016, pp. 85–96.
Business and Politics, vol. 18, “1”, April 2016, pp. 85–96