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Pareto Improving Taxes

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    Abstract

    We show that in almost every economy with separable externalities, every competitive equilibrium can be Pareto improved by a package of anonymous commodity taxes that cause prices to adjust and markets to reclear at different levels of individual consumption. The argument can be extended to economies with strategic interactions, incomplete asset markets or asymmetric information. This constrained suboptimality of competitive allocations might provide a rationale for economic policy in economies with externalities.

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    File URL: http://cowles.econ.yale.edu/P/cd/d15b/d1576.pdf
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    Bibliographic Info

    Paper provided by Cowles Foundation for Research in Economics, Yale University in its series Cowles Foundation Discussion Papers with number 1576.

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    Length: 27 pages
    Date of creation: Aug 2006
    Date of revision:
    Publication status: Published in Journal of Mathematical Economics (2008), 44: 682-696
    Handle: RePEc:cwl:cwldpp:1576

    Note: CFP 1235.
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    Postal: Yale University, Box 208281, New Haven, CT 06520-8281 USA
    Phone: (203) 432-3702
    Fax: (203) 432-6167
    Web page: http://cowles.econ.yale.edu/
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    Postal: Cowles Foundation, Yale University, Box 208281, New Haven, CT 06520-8281 USA

    Related research

    Keywords: Commodity taxes; Constrained suboptimality;

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    1. CITANNA, Alessandro & POLEMARCHAKIS, Heracles M. & TIRELLI, M., 2000. "The Taxation of Trades in assets," Les Cahiers de Recherche 721, HEC Paris.
    2. Peter A. Diamond & J. A. Mirrlees, 1968. "Optimal Taxation and Public Production," Working papers 22, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Department of Economics.
    3. P. A. Diamond, 1975. "A Many-Person Ramsey Tax Rule," Working papers 146, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Department of Economics.
    4. Bisin, A. & Geanakoplos, J.D. & Gottardi, P. & Minelli, E. & Polemarchakis, H., 2011. "Markets and contracts," Journal of Mathematical Economics, Elsevier, vol. 47(3), pages 279-288.
    5. Kenneth Arrow, 1970. "Political and Economic Evaluation of Social Effects and Externalities," NBER Chapters, in: The Analysis of Public Output, pages 1-30 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    6. Snyder, Susan K., 1999. "Testable restrictions of Pareto optimal public good provision," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 71(1), pages 97-119, January.
    7. Hurwicz, Leonid, 1979. "On allocations attainable through Nash equilibria," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 21(1), pages 140-165, August.
    8. Atsushi Kajii & Antonio Villanacci & Alessandro Citanna, 1998. "Constrained suboptimality in incomplete markets: a general approach and two applications," Economic Theory, Springer, vol. 11(3), pages 495-521.
    9. Debreu, Gerard, 1970. "Economies with a Finite Set of Equilibria," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 38(3), pages 387-92, May.
    10. Debreu, Gerard, 1976. "Smooth Preferences: A Corrigendum," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 44(4), pages 831-32, July.
    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. Andrés Carvajal, 2003. "Testable Restrictions og General Equilibrium Theory in Exchange Economies with Externalities," BORRADORES DE ECONOMIA 003556, BANCO DE LA REPÚBLICA.
    13. Greenwald, Bruce C & Stiglitz, Joseph E, 1986. "Externalities in Economies with Imperfect Information and Incomplete Markets," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 101(2), pages 229-64, May.
    14. repec:fth:louvco:2000/24 is not listed on IDEAS
    15. Guesnerie Roger, 1976. "On the direction of tax reform," CEPREMAP Working Papers (Couverture Orange) 7603, CEPREMAP.
    16. Herakles Polemarchakis, 2001. "The taxation of trades in assests," Working Papers 2001-21, Brown University, Department of Economics.
    17. Debreu, Gerard, 1972. "Smooth Preferences," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 40(4), pages 603-15, July.
    18. Mirrlees, J A, 1999. "The Theory of Moral Hazard and Unobservable Behaviour: Part I," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 66(1), pages 3-21, January.
    19. Hurwicz, Leonid, 1973. "The Design of Mechanisms for Resource Allocation," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 63(2), pages 1-30, May.
    20. Geanakoplos, J. D. & Polemarchakis, H. M., 1990. "Observability and optimality," Journal of Mathematical Economics, Elsevier, vol. 19(1-2), pages 153-165.
    21. repec:fth:louvco:0117 is not listed on IDEAS
    22. Akerlof, George A, 1970. "The Market for 'Lemons': Quality Uncertainty and the Market Mechanism," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 84(3), pages 488-500, August.
    23. Stiglitz, Joseph E, 1982. "The Inefficiency of the Stock Market Equilibrium," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 49(2), pages 241-61, April.
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