Advanced Search
MyIDEAS: Login to save this article or follow this journal

Asymmetric and non-atmospheric consumption externalities, and efficient consumption taxation

Contents:

Author Info

  • Eckerstorfer, Paul
  • Wendner, Ronald

Abstract

We analyze the effects of a generalized class of negative consumption externalities (asymmetric and non-atmospheric) on the structure of efficient commodity tax programs. Households are not only concerned about consumption reference levels — that is, they gain utility from “keeping up with the Joneses” — but they also exhibit altruism. Two sets of efficient tax regimes are compared, based, on a welfarist- and a non-welfarist optimality criterion, respectively. Altruism turns out not to be at odds with the consumption externalities. Rather, altruism implicates a bound on efficient utility allocations. A non-welfarist government tolerates less inequality than a welfarist one. In the welfarist (non-welfarist) case, first-best personalized commodity tax rates respond highly sensitively (barely) to whether or not a consumption externality is asymmetric or non-atmospheric. If personalized commodity tax rates are not available (second-best case), the tax rate on a non-positional good is typically different from zero for corrective reasons. For plausible functional forms and parameter values, numerical simulations suggest that second-best tax rates are rather insensitive with respect to both the optimality criterion and the “nature” of the consumption externality.

Download Info

If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.
File URL: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0047272713001473
Download Restriction: Full text for ScienceDirect subscribers only

As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to look for a different version under "Related research" (further below) or search for a different version of it.

Bibliographic Info

Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Journal of Public Economics.

Volume (Year): 106 (2013)
Issue (Month): C ()
Pages: 42-56

as in new window
Handle: RePEc:eee:pubeco:v:106:y:2013:i:c:p:42-56

Contact details of provider:
Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/inca/505578

Related research

Keywords: Consumption externality; Keeping up with the Joneses; Efficient commodity taxation; Genuine altruism; Non-welfarist government;

Other versions of this item:

Find related papers by JEL classification:

References

References listed on IDEAS
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
as in new window
  1. Alpizar, Francisco & Carlsson, Fredrik & Johansson-Stenman, Olof, 2005. "How much do we care about absolute versus relative income and consumption?," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 56(3), pages 405-421, March.
  2. Boskin, Michael J & Sheshinski, Eytan, 1978. "Optimal Redistributive Taxation when Individual Welfare Depends upon Relative Income," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 92(4), pages 589-601, November.
  3. Olof Johansson-Stenman & Fredrik Carlsson & Dinky Daruvala, 2002. "Measuring Future Grandparents" Preferences for Equality and Relative Standing," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 112(479), pages 362-383, April.
  4. Blomquist, Soren & Micheletto, Luca, 2006. "Optimal redistributive taxation when government's and agents' preferences differ," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 90(6-7), pages 1215-1233, August.
  5. Fehr, Ernst & Schmidt, Klaus M., 1999. "A theory of fairness, competition, and cooperation," Munich Reprints in Economics 20650, University of Munich, Department of Economics.
  6. Bill Dupor & Wen-Fang Liu, 2003. "Jealousy and Equilibrium Overconsumption," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 93(1), pages 423-428, March.
  7. J. Solnick, Sara & Hemenway, David, 1998. "Is more always better?: A survey on positional concerns," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 37(3), pages 373-383, November.
  8. Alvarez-Cuadrado, Francisco & Van Long, Ngo, 2011. "Relative consumption and renewable resource extraction under alternative property-rights regimes," Resource and Energy Economics, Elsevier, vol. 33(4), pages 1028-1053.
  9. Paul Eckerstorfer, 2011. "Relative Consumption Concerns and the Optimal Tax Mix," Economics working papers 2011-14, Department of Economics, Johannes Kepler University Linz, Austria.
  10. Francisco Alvarez-Cuadrado & Jose Maria Casado & Jose Maria Labeaga & Dhanoos Sutthiphisal, 2012. "Envy and habits: panel data estimates of interdependent preferences," Banco de Espa�a Working Papers 1213, Banco de Espa�a.
  11. Carroll, Christopher D & Overland, Jody & Weil, David N, 1997. " Comparison Utility in a Growth Model," Journal of Economic Growth, Springer, vol. 2(4), pages 339-67, December.
  12. Ronald Wendner, 2011. "Ramsey, Pigou, heterogenous agents, and non-atmospheric consumption externalities," Graz Economics Papers 2012-01, University of Graz, Department of Economics.
  13. Sheshinski, Eytan & Green, Jerry, 1976. "Direct Versus Indirect Remedies for Externalities," Scholarly Articles 3204666, Harvard University Department of Economics.
  14. Andrew B. Abel, 1998. "Risk Premia and Term Premia in General Equilibrium," NBER Working Papers 6683, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  15. Kanbur, Ravi & Pirttila, Jukka & Tuomala, Matti, 2004. "Non-Welfarist Optimal Taxation And Behavioral Public Economics," Working Papers 127150, Cornell University, Department of Applied Economics and Management.
  16. Neumark, David & Postlewaite, Andrew, 1998. "Relative income concerns and the rise in married women's employment," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 70(1), pages 157-183, October.
  17. Aronsson, Thomas & Johansson-Stenman, Olof, 2009. "Positional Concerns In An Olg Model: Optimal Labor And Capital Income Taxation," Working Papers in Economics 355, University of Gothenburg, Department of Economics.
  18. Wendner, Ronald & Goulder, Lawrence H., 2008. "Status effects, public goods provision, and excess burden," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 92(10-11), pages 1968-1985, October.
  19. Fredrik Carlsson & Olof Johansson-Stenman & Peter Martinsson, 2007. "Do You Enjoy Having More than Others? Survey Evidence of Positional Goods," Economica, London School of Economics and Political Science, vol. 74(296), pages 586-598, November.
  20. Erzo F.P. Luttmer, 2004. "Neighbors as Negatives: Relative Earnings and Well-Being," NBER Working Papers 10667, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  21. Eduardo Ley, 1996. "Optimal Provision of Public Goods with Altruistic Individuals," Public Economics 9607001, EconWPA, revised 06 Oct 2001.
  22. Robin Cowan & William Cowan & G.M. Peter Swann, 2004. "Waves in consumption with interdependence among consumers," Canadian Journal of Economics, Canadian Economics Association, vol. 37(1), pages 149-177, February.
  23. Micheletto, Luca, 2009. "Optimal nonlinear redistributive taxation and public good provision in an economy with Veblen effects," Working Paper Series 2009:3, Uppsala University, Department of Economics.
  24. Liu, Wen-Fang & Turnovsky, Stephen J., 2005. "Consumption externalities, production externalities, and long-run macroeconomic efficiency," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 89(5-6), pages 1097-1129, June.
  25. Harald Uhlig & Lars Ljungqvist, 2000. "Tax Policy and Aggregate Demand Management under Catching Up with the Joneses," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 90(3), pages 356-366, June.
  26. Johansson-Stenman, Olof & Martinsson, Peter, 2004. "Honestly, why are you driving a BMW?," Working Papers in Economics 141, University of Gothenburg, Department of Economics.
  27. Wendner, Ronald & Goulder, Lawrence H., 2008. "Status Effects, Public Goods Provision, and the Excess Burden," MPRA Paper 8260, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  28. Johansson-Stenman, Olof, 2004. "Global environmental problems, efficiency and limited altruism," Working Papers in Economics 139, University of Gothenburg, Department of Economics.
  29. Scitovsky, Tibor, 1992. "The Joyless Economy: The Psychology of Human Satisfaction," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, number 9780195073478, September.
  30. John Y. Campbell & John H. Cochrane, 1995. "By Force of Habit: A Consumption-Based Explanation of Aggregate Stock Market Behavior," NBER Working Papers 4995, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  31. Ferrer-i-Carbonell, Ada, 2005. "Income and well-being: an empirical analysis of the comparison income effect," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 89(5-6), pages 997-1019, June.
  32. O'Donoghue, Ted & Rabin, Matthew, 2006. "Optimal sin taxes," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 90(10-11), pages 1825-1849, November.
  33. Aronsson, Thomas & Johansson-Stenman, Olof, 2008. "When the Joneses' consumption hurts: Optimal public good provision and nonlinear income taxation," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 92(5-6), pages 986-997, June.
  34. Jürgen Maurer & André Meier, 2008. "Smooth it Like the “Joneses?” Estimating Peer-Group Effects in Intertemporal Consumption Choice," MEA discussion paper series 08167, Munich Center for the Economics of Aging (MEA) at the Max Planck Institute for Social Law and Social Policy.
  35. Easterlin, Richard A., 1995. "Will raising the incomes of all increase the happiness of all?," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 27(1), pages 35-47, June.
  36. Micheletto, Luca, 2008. "Redistribution and optimal mixed taxation in the presence of consumption externalities," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 92(10-11), pages 2262-2274, October.
  37. John Y. Campbell & John Cochrane, 1999. "Force of Habit: A Consumption-Based Explanation of Aggregate Stock Market Behavior," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 107(2), pages 205-251, April.
  38. Varian, Hal R, 1994. "A Solution to the Problem of Externalities When Agents Are Well-Informed," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 84(5), pages 1278-93, December.
  39. Sara J. Solnick & David Hemenway, 2005. "Are Positional Concerns Stronger in Some Domains than in Others?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 95(2), pages 147-151, May.
  40. Besley, Timothy, 1988. "A simple model for merit good arguments," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 35(3), pages 371-383, April.
  41. Layard, Richard, 1980. "Human Satisfactions and Public Policy," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 90(363), pages 737-50, December.
  42. Peter A. Diamond, 1973. "Consumption Externalities and Imperfect Corrective Pricing," Bell Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 4(2), pages 526-538, Autumn.
  43. Francisco Alvarez-Cuadrado & Ngo Van Long, 2012. "Envy and Inequality," Scandinavian Journal of Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 114(3), pages 949-973, 09.
  44. McBride, Michael, 2001. "Relative-income effects on subjective well-being in the cross-section," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 45(3), pages 251-278, July.
Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

Citations

Lists

This item is not listed on Wikipedia, on a reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.

Statistics

Access and download statistics

Corrections

When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:eee:pubeco:v:106:y:2013:i:c:p:42-56. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Zhang, Lei).

If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.

If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.

If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.