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Mixed Tax Systems and the Public Provision of Private Goods

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  • Alessandro Balestrino

Abstract

In contrast to what used to be conventional wisdom among economists,several recent contributions have shown that in-kind transfersschemes can be welfare-improving in the presence of distortionarytaxes (usually, linear taxes or a general income tax). In thisnote, we extend previous work by considering the most generaltax system compatible with reasonable information constraints,i.e. a mix of linear indirect and non-linear direct taxes. Threemain results are noted. We find that in the presence of a mixedtax system (as opposed to the non-linear income tax alone): i) not only encouraged but also discouraged goods satisfy a conditionfor the desirability of public provision; ii) there is a tendencyfor the optimal level of in-kind transfers to be lower; iii)there is a basic equivalence between uniform and income-contingentin-kind transfers. We also show how previous results can be derivedas special cases of ours and others have to be modified to accountfor the mixed tax system. Copyright Kluwer Academic Publishers 2000

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Bibliographic Info

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

Volume (Year): 7 (2000)
Issue (Month): 4 (August)
Pages: 463-478

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Handle: RePEc:kap:itaxpf:v:7:y:2000:i:4:p:463-478

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

Related research

Keywords: public provision of private goods; distortionary taxes; mixed tax systems; in-kind transfers;

References

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  1. Robin Boadway & Michael Keen, 1991. "Public Goods, Self-Selection and Optimal Income Taxation," Working Papers 828, Queen's University, Department of Economics.
  2. 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.
  3. Alistair Munro, 1990. "Self-Selection and Optimal In-Kind Transfers," Working Papers Series 90/3, University of Stirling, Division of Economics.
  4. Balestrino, Alessandro, 1999. " User Charges as Redistributive Devices," Journal of Public Economic Theory, Association for Public Economic Theory, vol. 1(4), pages 511-24.
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  6. Boadway, R. & Marchand, M., 1990. "The use of public expenditures for distributive purposes," CORE Discussion Papers 1990066, Université catholique de Louvain, Center for Operations Research and Econometrics (CORE).
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  8. Blomquist, S. & Christiansen, V., 1998. "The Political Economy of Publicly Provided Private Goods," Papers 1998-14, Uppsala - Working Paper Series.
  9. Blomquist, S. & Christiansen, V., 1995. "Topping Up of Opting Out? The Optimal Design of Public Provision Schemes," Papers 1995-13, Uppsala - Working Paper Series.
  10. Besley, Timothy & Coate, Stephen, 1991. "Public Provision of Private Goods and the Redistribution of Income," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 81(4), pages 979-84, September.
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  13. Munro, Alistair, 1991. "The optimal public provision of private goods," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 44(2), pages 239-261, March.
  14. 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.
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  16. 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.
  17. BOADWAY, Robin & MARCHAND, Maurice & SATO, Motohiro, 1997. "Subsidies versus public provision of private goods as instruments for redistibution," CORE Discussion Papers 1997071, Université catholique de Louvain, Center for Operations Research and Econometrics (CORE).
  18. Guesnerie Roger & Roberts Kevin, 1980. "Effective policy tools and quantity controls," CEPREMAP Working Papers (Couverture Orange) 8014, CEPREMAP.
  19. Mirrlees, J. A., 1976. "Optimal tax theory : A synthesis," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 6(4), pages 327-358, November.
  20. 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.
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  22. 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.
  23. Neil Bruce & Michael Waldman, 1988. "Transfers in Kind: Why They Can Be Efficient and Non-Paternalistic," UCLA Economics Working Papers 532, UCLA Department of Economics.
  24. 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.
  25. 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.
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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. S�ren Blomquist & Vidar Christiansen & Luca Micheletto, 2010. "Public Provision of Private Goods and Nondistortionary Marginal Tax Rates," American Economic Journal: Economic Policy, American Economic Association, vol. 2(2), pages 1-27, May.
  2. Bastani, Spencer & Blomquist, Sören & Micheletto, Luca, 2010. "Public Provision of Private Goods, Tagging and Optimal Income Taxation with Heterogeneity in Needs," Working Paper Series, Center for Fiscal Studies 2010:14, Uppsala University, Department of Economics.
  3. Luciano Greco, 2006. "Optimal Redistribution With Productive Social Services," "Marco Fanno" Working Papers 0026, Dipartimento di Scienze Economiche "Marco Fanno".

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