Date of Award

Summer 8-15-2016

Author's School

Graduate School of Arts and Sciences

Author's Department

Political Science

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Degree Type



This dissertation examines the effect of partisan politics on corporate tax policy in the developed world. In particular, I examine why and how left-wing governments give firms an effective tax rate that is lower than the national tax rate. My central argument is that left-wing governments keep corporate taxes high in order to please their voters and avoid high constituency costs, but compensate firms by providing non-transparent policy instruments such as tax incentives or lax regulation having low constituency costs to promote economic growth. These opaque policy instruments allow firms to effectively evade the higher corporate tax rates. My findings provide support for my argument and indicate that left-wing governments adopt higher corporate tax rates than right-wing governments, but offer generous tax incentives and lax regulations to firms in return.


English (en)

Chair and Committee

Nathan Jensen, Guillermo Rosas

Committee Members

Justin Fox, William Lowry, Andrew Martin, Andrew Sobel


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