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Taxing Sin Goods and Subsidizing Health Care

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Author Info

  • Helmuth Cremer
  • Philippe De Donder
  • Darío Maldonado
  • Pierre Pestieau

Abstract

We consider a two-period model. In the first period, individuals consume two goods: one is sinful and the other is not. The sin good brings pleasure but has a detrimental effect on second period health and individuals tend to underestimate this effect. In the second period, individuals can devote part of their saving to improve their health status and thus compensate for the damage caused by their sinful consumption. We consider two alternative specifications concerning this second period health care decision: either individuals acknowledge that they have made a mistake in the first period out of myopia or ignorance, or they persist in ignoring the detrimental effect of their sinful consumption. We study the optimal linear taxes on sin good consumption, saving and health care expenditures for a paternalistic social planner. We compare those taxes in the two specifications. We show under which circumstances the first best outcome can be decentralized and we study the second best taxes when saving is unobservable.

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File URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10.1111/j.1467-9442.2011.01666.x
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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by Wiley Blackwell in its journal Scandinavian Journal of Economics.

Volume (Year): 114 (2012)
Issue (Month): 1 (03)
Pages: 101-123

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Handle: RePEc:bla:scandj:v:114:y:2012:i:1:p:101-123

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Web page: http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/journal/10.1111/(ISSN)1467-9442

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References

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  1. O'Donoghue, Ted & Rabin, Matthew, 2006. "Optimal sin taxes," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 90(10-11), pages 1825-1849, November.
  2. Besley, Timothy, 1988. "A simple model for merit good arguments," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 35(3), pages 371-383, April.
  3. Jonathan Gruber & Botond Köszegi, 2001. "Is Addiction "Rational"? Theory And Evidence," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 116(4), pages 1261-1303, November.
  4. Ted O'Donoghue & Matthew Rabin, 2003. "Studying Optimal Paternalism, Illustrated by a Model of Sin Taxes," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 93(2), pages 186-191, May.
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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. Pierre Pestieau & Grégory Ponthière, 2009. "Myopia, regrets and risky behaviors," PSE Working Papers halshs-00566823, HAL.
  2. Bossi, Luca & Calcott, Paul & Petkov, Vladimir, 2013. "Optimal tax rules and addictive consumption," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 37(5), pages 984-1000.
  3. PESTIEAU, Pierre & PONTHIERE, Grégory, . "The public economics of increasing longevity," CORE Discussion Papers RP -2464, Université catholique de Louvain, Center for Operations Research and Econometrics (CORE).
  4. Marie-Louise Leroux, 2011. "Endogenous differential mortality, non-contractible effort and non-linear taxation," International Tax and Public Finance, Springer, vol. 18(1), pages 56-73, February.
  5. Danilowicz, Kamila & Schwager, Robert, 2013. "Subsidizing Health-Conscious Behavior Now or Later," Annual Conference 2013 (Duesseldorf): Competition Policy and Regulation in a Global Economic Order 80008, Verein für Socialpolitik / German Economic Association.
  6. repec:hal:wpaper:halshs-00676492 is not listed on IDEAS
  7. Bonnet, Céline & Réquillart, Vincent, 2011. "Tax incidence with strategic firms on the soft drink market," TSE Working Papers 11-233, Toulouse School of Economics (TSE), revised Jul 2012.
  8. Catarina Goulao & Agustin Pérez-Barahona, 2012. "Intergenerational transmission of non-communicable chronic diseases," Working Papers hal-00690325, HAL.
  9. Marie-Louise Leroux & Pierre Pestieau & Gregory Ponthiere, 2011. "Optimal linear taxation under endogenous longevity," Journal of Population Economics, Springer, vol. 24(1), pages 213-237, January.
  10. Pierre Pestieau & Grégory Ponthiere, 2012. "On the Policy Implications of Changing Longevity," CESifo Working Paper Series 3926, CESifo Group Munich.

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