The Value of Broadband and the Deadweight Loss of Taxing New Technology
AbstractWith fixed costs of developing technology, taxes can generate large efficiency costs by slowing the rate of diffusion and these costs are not accounted for in conventional analyses. This paper illustrates the potential importance of this idea in the context of taxes on broadband Internet access at an early stage of its existence by combining data on individual demand by area with data on supplier entry into those markets. Applying a tax to broadband in 1998 would have reduced the quantity and generated a large deadweight loss in the conventional model but when the analysis accounts for the fixed costs of entering new markets, taxes lead to delayed entry in several markets. In these places, the lost consumer surplus is additional deadweight loss and it more than doubles the true efficiency costs from taxation. The conventional model also dramatically understates the share of the tax burden borne by consumers.
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Bibliographic InfoArticle provided by De Gruyter in its journal The B.E. Journal of Economic Analysis & Policy.
Volume (Year): 5 (2006)
Issue (Month): 1 (April)
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Other versions of this item:
- Austan Goolsbee, 2006. "The Value of Broadband and the Deadweight Loss of Taxing New Technology," NBER Working Papers 11994, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- H2 - Public Economics - - Taxation, Subsidies, and Revenue
- D6 - Microeconomics - - Welfare Economics
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