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Differential Time and Money Pricing as a Mechanism for In-kind Redistribution

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Abstract

We propose a mechanism to implement the distributional goal of "specific egalitarianism", or that allocation of a good be independent of income, but increasing in relative strength of preference or need. Governments could offer the good at multiple "outlets" that charge different money and time prices. Individuals would self-select between outlets based on time opportunity cost. We show conditions under which differential pricing achieves specific egalitarianism more efficiently than uniform public provision funded from income tax, with or without optional private purchase. Differential pricing becomes more efficient than uniform provision as 1) the relative importance of the good rises, 2) the elasticity of substitution between goods falls, 3) variation in preferences increases and 4) income inequality rises or the proportion of the poor falls.

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File URL: http://www.econ.canterbury.ac.nz/RePEc/cbt/econwp/0607.pdf
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Paper provided by University of Canterbury, Department of Economics and Finance in its series Working Papers in Economics with number 06/07.

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Length: 36 pages
Date of creation: 25 Feb 2006
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:cbt:econwp:06/07

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Keywords: In-kind provision; specific egalitarianism; differential pricing;

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  1. 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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  4. Jeremy Clark & Bonggeun Kim, 2007. "Paying vs. waiting in the pursuit of specific egalitarianism," Oxford Economic Papers, Oxford University Press, vol. 59(3), pages 486-512, July.
  5. Michael Alexeev & James Leitzel, 1999. "Income Distribution and Price Controls: Targeting a Social Safety Net During Economic Transition," William Davidson Institute Working Papers Series 281, William Davidson Institute at the University of Michigan.
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  11. Nichols, D & Smolensky, E & Tideman, T N, 1971. "Discrimination by Waiting Time in Merit Goods," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 61(3), pages 312-23, June.
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  13. Sam Bucovetsky, 1984. "On the Use of Distributional Waits," Canadian Journal of Economics, Canadian Economics Association, vol. 17(4), pages 699-717, November.
  14. Blackorby, Charles & Donaldson, David, 1988. "Cash versus Kind, Self-selection, and Efficient Transfers," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 78(4), pages 691-700, September.
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Cited by:
  1. Jeremy Clark & Bonggeun Kim, 2007. "Paying vs. waiting in the pursuit of specific egalitarianism," Oxford Economic Papers, Oxford University Press, vol. 59(3), pages 486-512, July.

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