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User Charges as Redistributive Devices

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  • Balestrino, Alessandro

Abstract

In this model, a mix of public and private provision of private goods arises naturally in the economy. We characterize the social optimum in the presence of a linear tax/public expenditure system and show how a user charge can be welfare- or Pareto-improving, when the users are the poor. The charge discourages the rich from opting into the public program and allows the policymaker to restructure the tax/expenditure system in a way that is beneficial for the poor. If the ensuing welfare gain is large enough to outweigh the loss for the remaining users, a charge is desirable. Copyright 1999 by Blackwell Publishing Inc.

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by Association for Public Economic Theory in its journal Journal of Public Economic Theory.

Volume (Year): 1 (1999)
Issue (Month): 4 ()
Pages: 511-24

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Handle: RePEc:bla:jpbect:v:1:y:1999:i:4:p:511-24

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References

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  1. Munro, Alistair, 1991. "The optimal public provision of private goods," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 44(2), pages 239-261, March.
  2. Besley, T. & Coate, S., 1989. "Public Provision Of Private Goods And The Redistribution Of Income," Papers 36, Princeton, Woodrow Wilson School - Discussion Paper.
  3. Munro, Alistair, 1992. "Self-Selection and Optimal In-Sind Transfers," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 102(414), pages 1184-96, September.
  4. Balestrino, Alessandro, 1999. " The Desirability of In-Kind Transfers in the Presence of Distortionary Taxes," Journal of Economic Surveys, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 13(4), pages 333-54, September.
  5. Gahvari, Firouz, 1995. "In-Kind versus Cash Transfers in the Presence of Distortionary Taxes," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 33(1), pages 45-53, January.
  6. Boadway, R. & Marchand, M., . "The use of public expenditures for redistributive purposes," CORE Discussion Papers RP -1131, Université catholique de Louvain, Center for Operations Research and Econometrics (CORE).
  7. Neary, J. P. & Roberts, K. W. S., 1980. "The theory of household behaviour under rationing," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 13(1), pages 25-42, January.
  8. Cremer, Helmuth & Gahvari, Firouz, 1997. "In-kind transfers, self-selection and optimal tax policy," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 41(1), pages 97-114, January.
  9. Blomquist, Suren & Christiansen, Vidar, 1995. " Public Provision of Private Goods as a Redistributive Device in an Optimum Income Tax Model," Scandinavian Journal of Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 97(4), pages 547-67, December.
  10. Guesnerie Roger & Roberts Kevin, 1980. "Effective policy tools and quantity controls," CEPREMAP Working Papers (Couverture Orange) 8014, CEPREMAP.
  11. Robin W. Boadway & Maurice Marchand, 1990. "The Use of Public Expenditure for Distributive Purpose," Working Papers 796, Queen's University, Department of Economics.
  12. Ireland, Norman J., 1990. "The mix of social and private provision of goods and services," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 43(2), pages 201-219, November.
  13. Besley, Timothy, 1991. " Welfare Improving User Charges for Publicly Provided Private Goods," Scandinavian Journal of Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 93(4), pages 495-510.
  14. Blackorby, Charles & Donaldson, David, 1988. "Cash versus Kind, Self-selection, and Efficient Transfers," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 78(4), pages 691-700, September.
  15. Anderberg, Dan, 1999. "Determining the mix of public and private provision of insurance by majority rule," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 15(3), pages 417-440, September.
  16. Alessandro BALESTRINO, 1995. "Public Provision of Private Goods and User Charges," Discussion Papers (REL - Recherches Economiques de Louvain) 1995043, Université catholique de Louvain, Institut de Recherches Economiques et Sociales (IRES).
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Cited by:
  1. Daniele Fabbri & Chiara Monfardini, 2006. "Rationing the Public Provision of Health Care in the Presence of Private Supplements: Evidence from the Italian NHS," Health, Econometrics and Data Group (HEDG) Working Papers 06/14, HEDG, c/o Department of Economics, University of York.
  2. Alessandro Balestrino, 2000. "Mixed Tax Systems and the Public Provision of Private Goods," International Tax and Public Finance, Springer, vol. 7(4), pages 463-478, August.

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