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Consuming your way to efficiency: Public goods provision through non-distortionary tax lotteries

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  • Giebe, Thomas
  • Schweinzer, Paul

Abstract

We revisit the classical result that taxation of private consumption is distortionary and therefore precludes the efficient provision of public goods. We introduce a nonlinear consumption tax which we call a ‘tax lottery’. Under this scheme, an ad-valorem consumption tax is supplemented with a lottery in which consumers can win cash prizes. The winning probabilities in this lottery depend on all consumers' private good consumption decisions. We show that for a given ad-valorem tax, an appropriately designed lottery can implement an efficient allocation in pure-strategy Nash equilibrium. The lottery component corrects the distortion in private consumption due to the ad-valorem tax, while the resulting tax revenue is sufficient to efficiently provide the public good and pay out the lottery prize.

Suggested Citation

  • Giebe, Thomas & Schweinzer, Paul, 2014. "Consuming your way to efficiency: Public goods provision through non-distortionary tax lotteries," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 36(C), pages 1-12.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:poleco:v:36:y:2014:i:c:p:1-12
    DOI: 10.1016/j.ejpoleco.2014.06.006
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    Cited by:

    1. Giebe, Thomas & Schweinzer, Paul, 2014. "Consuming your way to efficiency: Public goods provision through non-distortionary tax lotteries," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 36(C), pages 1-12.
    2. Fabbri, Marco, 2015. "Shaping tax norms through lotteries," International Review of Law and Economics, Elsevier, vol. 44(C), pages 8-15.
    3. Olivier Bos & Béatrice Roussillon & Paul Schweinzer, 2016. "Agreeing on Efficient Emissions Reduction," Scandinavian Journal of Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 118(4), pages 785-815, October.
    4. Franke, Jörg & Leininger, Wolfgang, 2014. "On the efficient provision of public goods by means of biased lotteries: The two player case," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 125(3), pages 436-439.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Public goods; Contests; Taxation; Tax refunds;

    JEL classification:

    • C7 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Game Theory and Bargaining Theory
    • D7 - Microeconomics - - Analysis of Collective Decision-Making
    • H0 - Public Economics - - General

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