Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

A case of rational irrationality: Evidence of expressive interest bias in state e-commerce sales and use tax legislation
by Larson, Sarah Elizabeth, Ph.D., Indiana University, 2014, 155; 3629912
Abstract (Summary)

The expressive interest voting trap (Hillman, 2010) appears to play a significant role in the explanation of the passage of online sales and use tax legislation. However, state legislatures are not simply relying on expressive interests or utilitarian interests to justify the passage of online sales and use tax legislation. Members of state legislatures appear to be acting in such a way to both address the expressive interests of their constituents along with economic utilitarian theory concerns. Expressive interests do not fully describe the story of passage of e-commerce tax legislation, as the sales and use tax rate still plays a significant and positive role in the passage, suggesting that members of the state legislature are acting in some utilitarian function in hopes of garnering lost revenue from online transactions. The passage of online sales and use tax legislation appears to suggest that politicians are acting as political elite, as referenced by Caplan (2007) where they acknowledge the "expressive interests" of their constituents, but will pass legislation as a benevolent social planner, i.e. in line with economic utilitarian theory, when the public is not as focused on the legislation.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Ross, Justin M.
Commitee: Carmines, Edward G., Duncan, Denvil R., McGinnis, Michael D., Mikesell, John L.
School: Indiana University
Department: Public Policy
School Location: United States -- Indiana
Source: DAI-A 75/11(E), Dissertation Abstracts International
Subjects: Commerce-Business, Finance, Political science, Public policy
Keywords: E-commerce, Expressive interest, Online sales tax, Sales and use taxes, Tax legislation
Publication Number: 3629912
ISBN: 978-1-321-07369-0
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