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The dual nature of public goods and congestion: the role of fiscal policy revisited

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  • Santanu Chatterjee
  • Sugata Ghosh

Abstract

The role of fiscal policy is examined when public goods provide both productive and utility services. In the presence of congestion, the consumption tax is shown to be distortionary. Optimal fiscal policy involves using consumption-based instruments in conjunction with the income tax. An income tax-financed increase in government spending dominates both lump-sum and consumption tax-financing. Replacing the lump-sum tax with an income tax to finance a given level of spending dominates introducing an equivalent consumption tax. These results contrast sharply with the literature, where the consumption tax is generally viewed as the least distortionary source of public finance.

Suggested Citation

  • Santanu Chatterjee & Sugata Ghosh, 2011. "The dual nature of public goods and congestion: the role of fiscal policy revisited," Canadian Journal of Economics, Canadian Economics Association, vol. 44(4), pages 1471-1496, November.
  • Handle: RePEc:cje:issued:v:44:y:2011:i:4:p:1471-1496
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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Ghosh, Sugata & Wendner, Ronald, 2014. "Positional Preferences, Endogenous Growth, and Optimal Income- and Consumption Taxation," MPRA Paper 60337, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    2. Agénor, Pierre-Richard, 2016. "Optimal fiscal management of commodity price shocks," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 122(C), pages 183-196.
    3. Felice, Giulia, 2016. "Size and composition of public investment, sectoral composition and growth," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 44(C), pages 136-158.
    4. David Klenert & Linus Mattauch & Ottmar Edenhofer & Kai Lessmann, 2014. "Infrastructure and Inequality: Insights from Incorporating Key Economic Facts about Household Heterogeneity," CESifo Working Paper Series 4972, CESifo Group Munich.
    5. Santanu Chatterjee & Olaf Posch & Dennis Wesselbaum, 2017. "Delays in Public Goods," Working Papers 1702, University of Otago, Department of Economics, revised Feb 2017.
    6. Chatterjee, Santanu & Turnovsky, Stephen J., 2012. "Infrastructure and inequality," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 56(8), pages 1730-1745.
    7. Escobar-Posada, Rolando A. & Monteiro, Goncalo, 2015. "Long-run growth and welfare in a two sector endogenous growth model with productive and non-productive government expenditure," Journal of Macroeconomics, Elsevier, vol. 46(C), pages 218-234.
    8. Zhang, Lifeng & Ru, Yucong & Li, Jingkui, 2016. "Optimal tax structure and public expenditure composition in a simple model of endogenous growth," Economic Modelling, Elsevier, vol. 59(C), pages 352-360.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • E21 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Consumption, Saving, Production, Employment, and Investment - - - Consumption; Saving; Wealth
    • E62 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Macroeconomic Policy, Macroeconomic Aspects of Public Finance, and General Outlook - - - Fiscal Policy
    • H21 - Public Economics - - Taxation, Subsidies, and Revenue - - - Efficiency; Optimal Taxation
    • H41 - Public Economics - - Publicly Provided Goods - - - Public Goods
    • H54 - Public Economics - - National Government Expenditures and Related Policies - - - Infrastructures

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