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Fiscal Reforms in General Equilibrium: Theory and an Application to the Subsidy Debate in Iran

  • Gahvari Firouz

    ()

    (University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign)

  • Taheripour Farzad

    ()

    (Purdue University)

This paper estimates the pattern of consumer expenditures in Iran in an attempt to measure the welfare cost of price subsidies in that country and shed light on possible fiscal reforms. We use the Quadratic Almost Ideal Demand System (Banks et al. (1997)) as our framework for estimation. We show that the general equilibrium fiscal interaction effects play a crucial role in determining the amount the government saves by eliminating the price subsidy of a particular good. Interestingly, eliminating price subsidies on utilities saves the government little by way of revenues and is welfare reducing. Comparing the gains for non-marginal with marginal reforms a la Ahmad and Stern (1984), we also show that the two approaches may not necessarily recommend the same reform.

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Article provided by De Gruyter in its journal The B.E. Journal of Economic Analysis & Policy.

Volume (Year): 11 (2011)
Issue (Month): 1 (June)
Pages: 1-54

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Handle: RePEc:bpj:bejeap:v:11:y:2011:i:1:n:36
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  1. Richard Blundell & Jean-Marc Robin, 1999. "Estimation in large and disaggregated demand systems: an estimator for conditionally linear systems," Working Papers 249982, Institut National de la Recherche Agronomique, France.
  2. Masayoshi Hayashi & Robin Boadway, 2001. "An empirical analysis of intergovernmental tax interaction: the case of business income taxes in Canada," Canadian Journal of Economics, Canadian Economics Association, vol. 34(2), pages 481-503, May.
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  9. Parry Ian W. H. & West Sarah E & Laxminarayan Ramanan, 2009. "Fiscal and Externality Rationales for Alcohol Policies," The B.E. Journal of Economic Analysis & Policy, De Gruyter, vol. 9(1), pages 1-48, July.
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  12. Lawrence H. Goulder & Roberton C. Williams III, 2003. "The Substantial Bias from Ignoring General Equilibrium Effects in Estimating Excess Burden, and a Practical Solution," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 111(4), pages 898-927, August.
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