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Public Provision, Commodity Demand and Hours of Work: An Empirical Analysis

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  • Jukka Pirttilä
  • Ilpo Suoniemi

Abstract

Atkinson and Stiglitz (Journal of Public Economics 1976) show that when the government has access to non-linear income taxation and consumer preferences are separable between consumption and leisure, there is no need for differentiated commodity taxation. This paper examines the empirical validity of this claim using consumption data from Finland. The data have extensive information on commodity demand, the use of public services and hours of work. When labour income is controlled for in a semi-parametric way, we find that capital income and housing expenses are negatively associated with hours of work, whereas the use of child care is somewhat positively correlated with labour supply. These results suggest that capital income and housing should be taxed whereas day care could perhaps be subsidised.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by CESifo Group Munich in its series CESifo Working Paper Series with number 3000.

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Date of creation: 2010
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Handle: RePEc:ces:ceswps:_3000

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Keywords: commodity taxation; public provision of private goods; semi-parametric methods;

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References

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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).
  2. Cremer, Helmuth & Gahvari, Firouz, 1997. "In-kind transfers, self-selection and optimal tax policy," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 41(1), pages 97-114, January.
  3. Christiansen, Vidar, 1984. "Which commodity taxes should supplement the income tax?," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 24(2), pages 195-220, July.
  4. Sören Blomquist & Vidar Christiansen & Luca Micheletto, 2008. "Public Provision of Private Goods and Nondistortionary Marginal Tax Rates," CESifo Working Paper Series 2303, CESifo Group Munich.
  5. Qi Li & Jeffrey Scott Racine, 2006. "Nonparametric Econometrics: Theory and Practice," Economics Books, Princeton University Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 8355.
  6. Janet Currie & Firouz Gahvari, 2007. "Transfers in Cash and In Kind: Theory Meets the Data," NBER Working Papers 13557, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  7. Boadway, Robin & Keen, Michael, 1993. "Public Goods, Self-Selection and Optimal Income Taxation," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 34(3), pages 463-78, August.
  8. Pirttila, Jukka & Tuomala, Matti, 2002. " Publicly Provided Private Goods and Redistribution: A General Equilibrium Analysis," Scandinavian Journal of Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 104(1), pages 173-88.
  9. Spencer Bastani & Sören Blomquist & Luca Micheletto, 2010. "Public Provision of Private Goods, Tagging and Optimal Income Taxation withHeterogeneity in Needs," CESifo Working Paper Series 3275, CESifo Group Munich.
  10. Emmanuel Saez, 2000. "The Desirability of Commodity Taxation under Non-Linear Income Taxation and Heterogeneous Tastes," NBER Working Papers 8029, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  11. Michael Lokshin, 2006. "Difference-based semiparametric estimation of partial linear regression models," Stata Journal, StataCorp LP, vol. 6(3), pages 377-383, September.
  12. Mirrlees, J. A., 1976. "Optimal tax theory : A synthesis," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 6(4), pages 327-358, November.
  13. Roger H. Gordon & Wojciech Kopczuk, 2014. "The Choice of the Personal Income Tax Base," NBER Working Papers 20227, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  14. Blomquist, Sören & Christiansen, Vidar, 1997. "Price Subsidies versus Public Provision," Working Paper Series 1997:12, Uppsala University, Department of Economics.
  15. Lundin, Daniela & Mörk, Eva & Öckert, Björn, 2008. "How far can reduced childcare prices push female labour supply?," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 15(4), pages 647-659, August.
  16. Christiansen, Vidar, 1981. "Evaluation of Public Projects under Optimal Taxation," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 48(3), pages 447-57, July.
  17. 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.
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Cited by:
  1. Pirttälä, Jukka & Selin, Håkan, 2011. "Tax Policy and Employment: How Does the Swedish System Fare?," Working Paper Series, Center for Fiscal Studies 2011:2, Uppsala University, Department of Economics.
  2. Bas Jacobs, 2013. "From Optimal Tax Theory to Applied Tax Policy," CESifo Working Paper Series 4151, CESifo Group Munich.
  3. Bas Jacobs & Robin Boadway, 2013. "Optimal Linear Commodity Taxation under Optimal Non-Linear Income Taxation," CESifo Working Paper Series 4142, CESifo Group Munich.
  4. Bas Jacobs & Ruud A. de Mooij, 2011. "Pigou Meets Mirrlees: On the Irrelevance of Tax Distortions for the Second-Best Pigouvian Tax," CESifo Working Paper Series 3342, CESifo Group Munich.

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