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Persistent Distortionary Policies with Asymmetric Information

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  • Matthew F. Mitchell
  • Andrea Moro

Abstract

Why are distortionary policies used when seemingly Pareto improvements exist? According to a standard textbook argument, a Pareto improvement can be obtained by eliminating the distortions, compensating the losers with a lump sum transfer, and redistributing the gains that are left over. We relax the assumption that winners know the losses suffered by the losers and show that the informationally efficient method of compensating losers may involve the use of seemingly inefficient (but informationally efficient) distortionary policies. The risk of overcompensating losers may make distortions informationally efficient, as there are points on the Pareto frontier where distortions are used.

Suggested Citation

  • Matthew F. Mitchell & Andrea Moro, 2006. "Persistent Distortionary Policies with Asymmetric Information," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 96(1), pages 387-393, March.
  • Handle: RePEc:aea:aecrev:v:96:y:2006:i:1:p:387-393
    Note: DOI: 10.1257/000282806776157605
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    Cited by:

    1. Kym Anderson & Gordon Rausser & Johan Swinnen, 2013. "Political Economy of Public Policies: Insights from Distortions to Agricultural and Food Markets," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 51(2), pages 423-477, June.
    2. Galasso, Alberto & Mitchell, Matthew & Virag, Gabor, 2016. "Market outcomes and dynamic patent buyouts," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, vol. 48(C), pages 207-243.
    3. Bridgman, Benjamin, 2015. "Competition, work rules and productivity," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 52(C), pages 136-149.
    4. Jain, Sanjay & Majumdar, Sumon, 2016. "State capacity, redistributive compensation and the political economy of economic policy reform," International Review of Economics & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 42(C), pages 462-473.
    5. Johan F.M.Swinnen & Alessandro Olper & Thijs Vandemoortele, 2011. "The Political Economy of Policy Instrument Choice: Theory and Evidence from Agricultural Policies," LICOS Discussion Papers 27911, LICOS - Centre for Institutions and Economic Performance, KU Leuven.
    6. Elena Panova, 2011. "A Passion for Democracy," CIRANO Working Papers 2011s-47, CIRANO.
    7. Panova, Elena, 2015. "A passion for voting," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 90(C), pages 44-65.
    8. Vincent Anesi & Daniel J Seidmann, 2012. "Bargaining in Standing Committees," Discussion Papers 2012-09, The Centre for Decision Research and Experimental Economics, School of Economics, University of Nottingham.

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