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User Charges as Redistributive Devices

  • Balestrino, Alessandro

In this model, a mix of public and private provision of private goods arises naturally in the economy. We characterize the social optimum in the presence of a linear tax/public expenditure system and show how a user charge can be welfare- or Pareto-improving, when the users are the poor. The charge discourages the rich from opting into the public program and allows the policymaker to restructure the tax/expenditure system in a way that is beneficial for the poor. If the ensuing welfare gain is large enough to outweigh the loss for the remaining users, a charge is desirable. Copyright 1999 by Blackwell Publishing Inc.

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Article provided by Association for Public Economic Theory in its journal Journal of Public Economic Theory.

Volume (Year): 1 (1999)
Issue (Month): 4 ()
Pages: 511-24

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Handle: RePEc:bla:jpbect:v:1:y:1999:i:4:p:511-24
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  1. Besley, Timothy, 1991. " Welfare Improving User Charges for Publicly Provided Private Goods," Scandinavian Journal of Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 93(4), pages 495-510.
  2. Guesnerie, Roger & Roberts, Kevin, 1984. "Effective Policy Tools and Quantity Controls," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 52(1), pages 59-86, January.
  3. Alistair Munro, 1990. "Self-Selection and Optimal In-Kind Transfers," Working Papers Series 90/3, University of Stirling, Division of Economics.
  4. Balestrino, Alessandro, 1999. " The Desirability of In-Kind Transfers in the Presence of Distortionary Taxes," Journal of Economic Surveys, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 13(4), pages 333-54, September.
  5. Neary, J. P. & Roberts, K. W. S., 1980. "The theory of household behaviour under rationing," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 13(1), pages 25-42, January.
  6. Besley, T. & Coate, S., 1989. "Public Provision Of Private Goods And The Redistribution Of Income," Papers 36, Princeton, Woodrow Wilson School - Discussion Paper.
  7. Boadway, Robin & Marchand, Maurice, 1995. "The Use of Public Expenditures for Redistributive Purposes," Oxford Economic Papers, Oxford University Press, vol. 47(1), pages 45-59, January.
  8. Alessandro BALESTRINO, 1995. "Public Provision of Private Goods and User Charges," Discussion Papers (REL - Recherches Economiques de Louvain) 1995043, Université catholique de Louvain, Institut de Recherches Economiques et Sociales (IRES).
  9. Blomquist, Suren & Christiansen, Vidar, 1995. " Public Provision of Private Goods as a Redistributive Device in an Optimum Income Tax Model," Scandinavian Journal of Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 97(4), pages 547-67, December.
  10. Ireland, Norman J., 1990. "The mix of social and private provision of goods and services," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 43(2), pages 201-219, November.
  11. Blackorby, Charles & Donaldson, David, 1988. "Cash versus Kind, Self-selection, and Efficient Transfers," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 78(4), pages 691-700, September.
  12. Anderberg, Dan, 1999. "Determining the mix of public and private provision of insurance by majority rule," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 15(3), pages 417-440, September.
  13. Munro, Alistair, 1991. "The optimal public provision of private goods," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 44(2), pages 239-261, March.
  14. 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.
  15. Gahvari, Firouz, 1995. "In-Kind versus Cash Transfers in the Presence of Distortionary Taxes," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 33(1), pages 45-53, January.
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