Brandt School Universität Erfurt

Professor Kemmerling wins Socio-Economic Review Annual Prize 2017

We are proud to announce that the journal "Socio-Economic Review" has awarded Professor Achim Kemmerling's article "Left without choice? Economic ideas, frames and the party politics of value-added taxation" with their 2017 annual prize.

Abstract: This article investigates how different ideas about value-added taxation (VAT) frame the partisan politics of the welfare state. It employs a content analysis of German and British politicians’ motives in parliamentary debates on whether and why to increase VAT rates. A qualitative comparison reveals that there are remarkable differences between the two countries. In Germany, there is a clear and consistent shift in the efficiency frame from macroeconomic condemnation to microeconomic appraisal even among left politicians. This is not visible in British debates, where traditional partisan contestation prevails. The difference in efficiency frames is closely related to unemployment becoming a much more salient issue in Germany than in the UK. The quantitative analysis shows that speakers are indeed more likely to mention the efficiency frame when they are concerned about the labour market.

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