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Welfare Improving User Charges for Publicly Provided Private Goods

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  • Besley, Timothy

Abstract

It is argued that free provision of publicly provided goods or services is rarely optimal. The argument is simple: if optimal lump-sum transfers are not available, then the government will wish to use all handles which provide information about the distribution of welfare. One such handle may be the usage of publicly provided goods and services. As long as this is not uniform, then it is a potentially valuable index for redistributive purposes. This is illustrated using two models--one in which usage of the publicly provided good is legislated by the government and another in which it is determined in part by the private costs of consuming public services. Copyright 1991 by The editors of the Scandinavian Journal of Economics.

Suggested Citation

  • Besley, Timothy, 1991. " Welfare Improving User Charges for Publicly Provided Private Goods," Scandinavian Journal of Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 93(4), pages 495-510.
  • Handle: RePEc:bla:scandj:v:93:y:1991:i:4:p:495-510
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    1. repec:esr:chaptr:jacb200506 is not listed on IDEAS
    2. Morgenroth, Edgar, 2005. "Waste Collection, Double Taxation and Local Finance," Papers BP2006/4, Economic and Social Research Institute (ESRI).
    3. Sören Blömquist & Vidar Christiansen, 1998. "Price Subsidies Versus Public Provision," International Tax and Public Finance, Springer;International Institute of Public Finance, vol. 5(3), pages 283-306, July.
    4. Bergstrom, Ted & Blomquist, Soren, 1996. "The political economy of subsidized day care," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 12(3), pages 443-457, November.
    5. Blomquist, Soren & Christiansen, Vidar, 1998. "Topping Up or Opting Out? The Optimal Design of Public Provision Schemes," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 39(2), pages 399-411, May.
    6. Iregui, Ana Maria, 2005. "Decentralised provision of quasi-private goods: The case of Colombia," Economic Modelling, Elsevier, vol. 22(4), pages 683-706, July.
    7. Bergstrom, Ted & Blomquist, Soren, 1996. "The political economy of subsidized day care," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 12(3), pages 443-457, November.
    8. Fabbri, Daniele & Monfardini, Chiara, 2009. "Rationing the public provision of healthcare in the presence of private supplements: Evidence from the Italian NHS," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 28(2), pages 290-304, March.
    9. Balestrino, Alessandro, 1999. " User Charges as Redistributive Devices," Journal of Public Economic Theory, Association for Public Economic Theory, vol. 1(4), pages 511-524.
    10. Akutagawa, Kazunori & Mun, Se-il, 2005. "Private goods provided by local governments," Regional Science and Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 35(1), pages 23-48, January.

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