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Decentralizing Public Goods Production

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  • MICHAEL LUNDHOLM

Abstract

Decentralized decisions, to a bureau with a given budget, about the production of public goods is analyzed within a general equilibrium model with a representative agent and no pure profits. Contrary to previous results on decentralization it is shown that sequential decentralization (i) does not necessarily imply aggregate production efficiency and (ii) need not be optimal even if all public goods are neutral. Also, cost-benefit criteria are derived and the marginal cost of public funds is characterized. Copyright 2008 Blackwell Publishing, Inc..

Suggested Citation

  • Michael Lundholm, 2008. "Decentralizing Public Goods Production," Journal of Public Economic Theory, Association for Public Economic Theory, vol. 10(2), pages 259-279, April.
  • Handle: RePEc:bla:jpbect:v:10:y:2008:i:2:p:259-279
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. J. E. Stiglitz & P. Dasgupta, 1971. "Differential Taxation, Public Goods, and Economic Efficiency," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 38(2), pages 151-174.
    2. Gronberg, Timothy & Liu, Liqun, 2001. " The Second-Best Level of a Public Good: An Approach Based on the Marginal Excess Burden," Journal of Public Economic Theory, Association for Public Economic Theory, vol. 3(4), pages 431-453.
    3. Vidar Christiansen, 1981. "Evaluation of Public Projects under Optimal Taxation," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 48(3), pages 447-457.
    4. 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 463-478, August.
    5. Besley, Timothy & Jewitt, Ian, 1991. "Decentralizing Public Good Supply," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 59(6), pages 1769-1778, November.
    6. Boadway, Robin & Horiba, Isao & Jha, Raghbendra, 1999. "The Provision of Public Services by Government Funded Decentralized Agencies," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 100(3-4), pages 157-184, September.
    7. Charles L. Ballard & Don Fullerton, 1992. "Distortionary Taxes and the Provision of Public Goods," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 6(3), pages 117-131, Summer.
    8. Besley, Timothy & Coate, Stephen, 2003. "Centralized versus decentralized provision of local public goods: a political economy approach," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 87(12), pages 2611-2637, December.
    9. Lau, Lawrence J & Sheshinski, Eytan & Stiglitz, Joseph E, 1978. "Efficiency in the Optimum Supply of Public Goods," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 46(2), pages 269-284, March.
    10. Hansson, Ingemar, 1984. " Marginal Cost of Public Funds for Different Tax Instruments and Government Expenditures," Scandinavian Journal of Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 86(2), pages 115-130.
    11. Gaube, Thomas, 2000. "When do distortionary taxes reduce the optimal supply of public goods?," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 76(2), pages 151-180, May.
    12. A. B. Atkinson & N. H. Stern, 1974. "Pigou, Taxation and Public Goods," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 41(1), pages 119-128.
    13. Munk, Knud Jorgen, 1978. " Optimal Taxation and Pure Profit," Scandinavian Journal of Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 80(1), pages 1-19.
    14. Sandmo, Agnar, 1998. "Redistribution and the marginal cost of public funds," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 70(3), pages 365-382, December.
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    Cited by:

    1. Andersson , Henrik & Hultkrantz , Lars & Lindberg , Gunnar & Nilsson , Jan-Eric, 2017. "The role of economic analysis for investment priorities in Sweden’s transport sector," Working papers in Transport Economics 2017:12, CTS - Centre for Transport Studies Stockholm (KTH and VTI).
    2. Sacchi, Agnese & Salotti, Simone, 2014. "The asymmetric nature of fiscal decentralization: theory and practice," MPRA Paper 54506, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    3. Fabio Fiorillo & Agnese Sacchi, 2012. "The Political Economy of the Standard Level of Services: The Role of Income Distribution," CESifo Working Paper Series 3696, CESifo Group Munich.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • H21 - Public Economics - - Taxation, Subsidies, and Revenue - - - Efficiency; Optimal Taxation
    • H41 - Public Economics - - Publicly Provided Goods - - - Public Goods
    • H43 - Public Economics - - Publicly Provided Goods - - - Project Evaluation; Social Discount Rate

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