Link to the University of Pittsburgh Homepage
Link to the University Library System Homepage Link to the Contact Us Form

Economic Power and Political Influence: Business Groups and Taxation in Latin America

Castaneda-Angarita, Nestor (2014) Economic Power and Political Influence: Business Groups and Taxation in Latin America. Doctoral Dissertation, University of Pittsburgh. (Unpublished)

This is the latest version of this item.

Primary Text

Download (2MB) | Preview


This dissertation argues that cross-country variation in tax policy outcomes mainly depends on two factors: the agenda-setters’ fiscal policy preferences and the patterns of business organization. I develop a theory of tax policy change that builds on the existing literature on business interest groups, but incorporates the patterns of business organization as a crucial factor in explaining fiscal policy choice. This theory suggests that if there is no convergence between the policy preferences of agenda-setters and business interest groups, the latter will display their economic and political power in order to avoid increases in direct taxation and transfer any costs of fiscal consolidation to consumers or non-organized citizens by increasing value-added taxes or other indirect taxes.
The rationale of this theory is straightforward. Both, agenda-setters and business interest groups, have distinctive preferences over types of taxation, tax rates, tax bases, and tax administration. Agenda-setters’ tax policy preferences are usually partisan-oriented and depend on the characteristics of the government coalition. Business interest groups usually prefer lower corporate tax rates, and their preferences about personal income and value-added taxes are ambiguous. If their preferences do not converge and both, agenda-setters and business interest groups, follow their most preferred policies, the feasibility of tax reforms will depend on business interest groups’ market leverage and their organizational capacity to coordinate firms, industry-level organizations, or economic conglomerates. Tax policy outcomes will vary as the patterns of business organization range from centralized national associations to intra-business competition.
Overall, this dissertation finds support for strong and systematic links between patterns of business organization and tax politics. Additionally, I present empirical evidence that contradicts the widespread argument that agenda-setters are the predominant actors for economic policy-making in presidential regimes. These findings enrich theories of governance by modeling the role of business interest groups in policy-making and its implications for policy change. This dissertation not only offers a new theoretical approach but also new methodological tools to understand how business interest groups are actually influential for policy-making. Finally, this dissertation also makes an important empirical contribution for the study of business politics beyond the limited sample of developed countries.


Social Networking:
Share |


Item Type: University of Pittsburgh ETD
Status: Unpublished
CreatorsEmailPitt UsernameORCID
ETD Committee:
TitleMemberEmail AddressPitt UsernameORCID
Committee ChairPerez-Linan, Anibal
Committee MemberAmes, Barry
Committee MemberMorgenstern, Scott
Committee MemberRipoll, Marla
Date: 17 September 2014
Date Type: Publication
Defense Date: 21 April 2014
Approval Date: 17 September 2014
Submission Date: 14 August 2014
Access Restriction: 2 year -- Restrict access to University of Pittsburgh for a period of 2 years.
Number of Pages: 275
Institution: University of Pittsburgh
Schools and Programs: Dietrich School of Arts and Sciences > Political Science
Degree: PhD - Doctor of Philosophy
Thesis Type: Doctoral Dissertation
Refereed: Yes
Uncontrolled Keywords: Business Interest Groups, Taxation, Latin America
Date Deposited: 17 Sep 2014 19:30
Last Modified: 15 Nov 2016 14:23

Available Versions of this Item

  • Economic Power and Political Influence: Business Groups and Taxation in Latin America. (deposited 17 Sep 2014 19:30) [Currently Displayed]


Monthly Views for the past 3 years

Plum Analytics

Actions (login required)

View Item View Item