Common Agency and Coordination: General Theory and Application to Tax Policy
AbstractWe develop a model of common agency with complete information and general preferences with non-transferable utility, and prove that the principals’ Nash equilibrium in truthful strategies implements an efficient action. We apply this theory to construct a positive model of public finance, where organized special interests can lobby the government for consumer and producer taxes or subsidies and targeted lump-sum taxes or transfers. The lobbies use only the non-distorting transfers in their non-cooperative equilibrium, but their inter-group competitition for transfers turns into a prisoners’ dilemma in which the government captures all the gain that is potentially available to the parties. Therefore, we suggest that pressure groups capable of sustaining an ex-ante agreement will make a commitment to forgo direct transfers and to confine their lobbying to distorting taxes and subsidies.
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Bibliographic InfoPaper provided by C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers in its series CEPR Discussion Papers with number 1436.
Date of creation: Jul 1996
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Other versions of this item:
- Dixit, A. & Helpman, E., 1996. "Common Agency and Coordination: General Theory and Application to Tax Policy," Papers 179, Princeton, Woodrow Wilson School - Public and International Affairs.
- Dexit, A. & Grossman, G.M. & Helpman, E., 1996. "Common Agency and Coordination: General Theory and Application to Tax Policy," Papers 11-96, Tel Aviv.
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