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Ben Lockwood

Contact details

Email: B dot Lockwood at warwick dot ac dot uk

Room: S1.119

HoD 1:1 meetings: you can book an appointment here:

Please indicate whether you want to meet online or in person. For online meetings, I will call you on Teams; in person meetings will be at my office.

EC981 students: my office hours are 10-12 on Thursdays, please use the link above to book during those times.

Related links

My personal webpage

Research Interests

  • Political economy
  • Public Economics
  • Behavioral Economics
  • Climate Change

Newest Work

Dynamic Electoral Competition with Voter Loss-Aversion and Imperfect Recall (with Minh Le and James Rockey), forthcoming, Journal of Public Economics

Are Environmental Concerns Deterring People from Having Children? (with Nattavudh Powdthavee and Andrew Oswald)

"Small Firm Growth and the VAT Threshold: Evidence for the UK" (with Li Liu and Eddy Tam), under revision

"In the Grip of Whitehall? The Effect of Party Control on Local Fiscal Policy in the UK", (with James Rockey and Francesco Porcelli)

"Tax and Occupancy of Business Properties: Theory and Evidence from UK Business Rates", (with Martin Simmler and Eddy Tam)

"The Effects of Social Capital on Government Performance and Turnover: Theory and Evidence from Italian Municipalities", under revision

"Cultural Identity and Social Capital in Italy", under revision

Recent Published Papers

Political Economy

"How do right-wing populist parties influence climate and renewable energy policies? Evidence from OECD countries", (with Matthew Lockwood), Global Environmental Politics 22(3), 12-37, 2022

Press coverage:

Rightwing populist parties blight climate policy, study finds (

Rise of hard-right nationalists presents climate risk, experts warn (

"Negative Voters? Electoral Competition With Loss-Aversion" (with James Rockey), Economic Journal 130, 2619-2648, 2020

"Confirmation Bias and Electoral Accountability", Quarterly Journal of Political Science, 11(4), 471-501, 2017

"Incentive Schemes for Local Government: Theory and Evidence from Comprehensive Performance Assessment in England", (with Francesco Porcelli), American Economic Journal: Policy 5(3), 254-86, 2013 (Not-for-publication Appendix containing robustness checks here, Data here in Stata 12 format)

A non-technical short version of the paper published in the March 2013 CESIfo DICE Report

Ccoverage of the paper in the Guardian newspaper.

 "Costly Voting when both Information and Preferences Differ: Is Turnout Too High or Too Low?", (with Sayantan Ghosal) Social Choice and Welfare 33, 25-50, 2009

(this is a much revised and extended version of University of Warwick Working Paper 670, "Information Aggregation, Costly Voting and Common Values", January 2003)

 "Voting, Lobbying, and the Decentralization Theorem" Economics and Politics, 20, 416-461, 2008

 "Do Elections Always Motivate Incumbents? Learning vs. Re-Election Concerns", (with Eric LeBorgne), Public Choice 129, 41-60, October 2006

 "When are Plurality Rule Voting Games Dominance-Solvable?" (with Amrita Dhillon), Games and Economic Behaviour, 46, 55-75, January 2004

"Multiple Equilibria in the Citizen-Candidate Model of Representative Democracy", Journal of Public Economic Theory 4, 171-84, 2002 (with Amrita Dhillon)

  "Distributive Politics and the Benefits of Decentralization", Review of Economic Studies, 69, 313-37, April 2002


"VAT Notches, Voluntary Registration, and Bunching: Theory and UK Evidence"(with Li Liu and Miguel Almunia), Review of Economics and Statistics 103, 151–164, 2021 (online appendix)

"More Giving or More Givers? The Effects of Tax Incentives on Charitable Donations in the UK", (with Miguel Almunia and Kim Scharf), Journal of Public Economics 183, 2020

"Malas Notches", International Tax and Public Finance 27, 779–804, 2020

"How Should Payment Services be Taxed?" (with Erez Yerushalmi), Social Choice and Welfare, 1-27, 2019

"The Taxation of Foreign Profits: a Unified View", (with Michael P.Devereux and Clemens Fuest), Journal of Public Economics 125, 83-97, 2015. (our VoxEU column on this topic)

"How Should Financial Intermediation Services be Taxed?", published in Taxation and Regulation of the Financial Sector, MIT Press, 2014

"Does Tax Competition Really Promote Growth?" (with Marko Koethenberger), Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control 34, 191-206, 2010

"Opting For Opting In? An Evaluation of The European Commission's Proposals for Reforming VAT on Financial Services" (with Rita de la Feria), Fiscal Studies 

 "The Causes and Consequences of the VAT Revolution: An Empirical Investigation" (with Michael Keen), Journal of Development Economics, 92, 138-151, 2010

Data for this paper here, and dofiles to generate Table 1 and Table 2 are here and here

 "Did the Single Market Cause Competition in Excise Taxes? Evidence from EU Countries" (with Giuseppe Migali) , Economic Journal, 2009, 119, 406-429

 "Do Countries Compete over Corporate Taxes?", (with Michael P. Devereux and Michela Redoano), Journal of Public Economics 91, 1197-1218, 2008

 "Horizontal vs. Vertical Tax Competition: Theory and Some Evidence for the USA" (with Michael P. Devereux and Michela Redoano), Journal of Public Economics 91, 451-479, April 2007

 "Is the VAT a Money Machine?" (with Michael Keen), The National Tax Journal 59, 905-28, December 2006

 "Tax Incidence, Majority Voting and Capital Market Integration", (with Miltados Makris), Journal of Public Economics 90, 1007-1025, 2006

 “Financial Consequences of the Chinese VAT Reform” (with E.Ahmad and R.Singh), International VAT Monitor, 16, 181-187, 2005

(this is based on a longer IMF Working Paper which is available here)

 "Competition in Unit vs. Ad Valorem Taxes", International Tax and Public Finance 11, 763-772, 2004

Fiscal federalism

"Intergovernmental Grants as Signals and the Alignment Effect: Theory and Evidence", (with Emanule Bracco, Francesco Porcelli, and Michela Redoano), Journal of Public Economics 123, 78-91, 2015

"Bailouts in Federations: is a Hard Budget Constraint Always Best?" (with Martin Besfamille), International Economic Review, 49, 577-593, 2008

 "Why Focus on Spending Needs Factors? The Political Economy of Fiscal Transfer Reforms in Mexico," (with Mercedes Garcia-Escribano, Giorgio Brosio, and Ehtisham Ahmad) IMF Working Papers 07/252, International Monetary Fund

"Decentralization and the Productive Efficiency of Government: Evidence from Swiss Cantons", Journal of Public Economics 91, 1197-1218, 2007

"Fiscal Decentralization: A Political Economy Perspective", in The Handbook of Fiscal Federalism (ed. E.Ahmad and G.Brosio), Edward Elgar, 2006

(this chapter is based on a longer Warwick Working Paper which is available here)

 "Fiscal Decentralization and the Political Budget Cycle"

Other Research

 "Too Much Investment? A Problem of Endogenous Outside Options", (with David de Meza), Games and Economic Behaviour, 2010

(not for publication Appendix for this paper)

 "General Investments and Outside Options: Some Recent Results Reconsidered", (with David de Meza)

 "Gradualism and Irreversibility" (with Jonathan Thomas), Review of Economic Studies, 69, 339-356, April 2002

Other Recent Papers

"Making Budgets Better: A Review of Better Budgets", (with Wyn Grant), The Political Quarterly, 2017, 88, 311-314

"Options for Taxation of the Financial Sector", published in Dutch in: Ontwerp voor een Beter Belastingstelsel (Design for a Better Tax System), (eds: B.Jacobs and S.Cnossen), ESB. Forthcming in an English language edition!


Departmental Responsibilities

  • Currently on study leave
  • Head of Department Elect, starting August 2022

Other Activities

  • Research Fellow, Centre for Economic Policy Research
  • Research Affiliate, CESIfo
  • Member, Editorial Board, International Tax and Public Finance
  • Member, Editorial Board, Social Choice and Welfare