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Financing Public Goods with Income Taxation: Provision Rules vs. Provision Level

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  • Thomas Gaube

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    Abstract

    Due to the use of distortionary taxation, many believe that real-world economies should attain a lower level of public expenditures than in a situation where lump-sum taxes are available. The present paper examines this hypothesis by means of the two-type self-selection model of income taxation. Based on the findings of Boadway and Keen (1993), I provide sufficient conditions for both a lower and a higher level of public expenditures in second best than in first best. In particular, it is shown that the separability assumption of Christiansen (1981) leads to under-provision of the public good in the income tax optimum. Copyright Springer Science + Business Media, Inc. 2005

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    Bibliographic Info

    Article provided by Springer in its journal International Tax and Public Finance.

    Volume (Year): 12 (2005)
    Issue (Month): 3 (May)
    Pages: 319-334

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    Handle: RePEc:kap:itaxpf:v:12:y:2005:i:3:p:319-334

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    Web page: http://www.springerlink.com/link.asp?id=102915

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    Keywords: income taxation; public goods;

    References

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    1. Stern, Nicholas, 1982. "Optimum taxation with errors in administration," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 17(2), pages 181-211, March.
    2. Sandmo, Agnar, 1998. "Redistribution and the marginal cost of public funds," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 70(3), pages 365-382, December.
    3. Ming Chang, 2000. "Rules and Levels in the Provision of Public Goods: The Role of Complementarities between the public Good and Taxed Commodities," International Tax and Public Finance, Springer, vol. 7(1), pages 83-91, February.
    4. Robin Boadway & Michael Keen, 1991. "Public Goods, Self-Selection and Optimal Income Taxation," Working Papers 828, Queen's University, Department of Economics.
    5. Joseph E. Stiglitz, 1981. "Self-Selection and Pareto Efficient Taxation," NBER Working Papers 0632, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    6. Douglas Wilson, John, 1991. "Optimal public good provision in the Ramsey tax model : A generalization," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 35(1), pages 57-61, January.
    7. Tuomala, Matti, 1990. "Optimal Income Tax and Redistribution," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, number 9780198286059, September.
    8. Gaube, Thomas, 2000. "When do distortionary taxes reduce the optimal supply of public goods?," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 76(2), pages 151-180, May.
    9. Christiansen, Vidar, 1981. "Evaluation of Public Projects under Optimal Taxation," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 48(3), pages 447-57, July.
    10. Nichols, Albert L & Zeckhauser, Richard J, 1982. "Targeting Transfers through Restrictions on Recipients," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 72(2), pages 372-77, May.
    11. Mirrlees, James A, 1971. "An Exploration in the Theory of Optimum Income Taxation," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 38(114), pages 175-208, April.
    12. Blomquist, S. & Christiansen, V., 1995. "Topping Up of Opting Out? The Optimal Design of Public Provision Schemes," Papers 1995-13, Uppsala - Working Paper Series.
    13. Nava, Mario & Schroyen, Fred & Marchand, Maurice, 1996. "Optimal fiscal and public expenditure policy in a two-class economy," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 61(1), pages 119-137, July.
    14. Seade, Jesus, 1982. "On the Sign of the Optimum Marginal Income Tax," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 49(4), pages 637-43, October.
    15. Atkinson, Anthony B & Stern, N H, 1974. "Pigou, Taxation and Public Goods," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 41(1), pages 119-28, January.
    16. Pirttila, Jukka & Tuomala, Matti, 2001. "On optimal non-linear taxation and public good provision in an overlapping generations economy," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 79(3), pages 485-501, March.
    17. Brito, Dagobert L, et al, 1990. "Pareto Efficient Tax Structures," Oxford Economic Papers, Oxford University Press, vol. 42(1), pages 61-77, January.
    18. Wilson, John Douglas, 1991. "Optimal Public Good Provision with Limited Lump-Sum Taxation," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 81(1), pages 153-66, March.
    19. Atkinson, A. B. & Stiglitz, J. E., 1976. "The design of tax structure: Direct versus indirect taxation," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 6(1-2), pages 55-75.
    20. Dagobert L. Brito & Jonathan H. Hamilton & Steven M. Slutsky & Joseph E. Stiglitz, 1990. "Pareto Efficient Tax Structures," NBER Working Papers 3288, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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    Cited by:
    1. Haavio, Markus & Kotakorpi, Kaisa, 2011. "The political economy of sin taxes," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 55(4), pages 575-594, May.
    2. 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.
    3. Jukka Pirttilä & Matti Tuomala, 2007. "Labour income uncertainty, taxation and public good provision," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 117(518), pages 567-582, 03.
    4. Diego Martinez Lopez & A. Jesus Sanchez Fuentes, 2006. "On the optimal level of public inputs," Working Papers 06.34, Universidad Pablo de Olavide, Department of Economics, revised Mar 2008.
    5. A. Sanchez & Diego Martinez, 2011. "Optimization in Non-Standard Problems. An Application to the Provision of Public Inputs," Computational Economics, Society for Computational Economics, vol. 37(1), pages 13-38, January.
    6. Ronald Wendner, 2011. "Ramsey, Pigou, heterogenous agents, and non-atmospheric consumption externalities," Graz Economics Papers 2012-01, University of Graz, Department of Economics.
    7. Wendner, Ronald & Goulder, Lawrence H., 2008. "Status Effects, Public Goods Provision, and the Excess Burden," MPRA Paper 8260, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    8. Wendner, Ronald, 2008. "Consumption Externalities and Pigouvian Ranking -- A Generalized Cobb-Douglas Example," MPRA Paper 8540, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    9. repec:ebl:ecbull:v:8:y:2007:i:9:p:1-10 is not listed on IDEAS
    10. Wendner, Ronald, 2010. "Ramsey, Pigou, and a Consumption Externality," MPRA Paper 21356, University Library of Munich, Germany.

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