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Redistribution and optimal mixed taxation in the presence of consumption externalities

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  • Micheletto, Luca

Abstract

The literature on externalities and optimal redistributive taxation in the presence of asymmetric information has so far been confined to the case where externalities are of the "atmospheric" type. One of the main results from this literature has been that the so called additivity property discovered by Sandmo [Sandmo, A. 1975. Optimal taxation in the presence of externalities. Swedish Journal of Economics 77, 86-98] holds true also in this more general context. This paper extends previous analyses by considering a general model where, even if there is only one externality-generating good, the externality is not constrained to be of the atmospheric type. The model is sufficiently unrestrictive to admit a variety of interpretations. For example, it is possible to interpret it as reflecting the case of different types of agents being differently vulnerable to the same externality. Another possibility is to view agents of different types as not equally effective as externality-generating units. Yet another interpretation can be in terms of positional goods. We show that while the additivity property fails in general to hold, conditions can be derived which are sufficient to recover it both with respect to the commodity tax structure and with respect to the shape of the income tax schedule. Moreover, stressing one or the other of the aforementioned interpretations delivers different results for the validity of the additivity property.

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  • Micheletto, Luca, 2008. "Redistribution and optimal mixed taxation in the presence of consumption externalities," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 92(10-11), pages 2262-2274, October.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:pubeco:v:92:y:2008:i:10-11:p:2262-2274
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    Cited by:

    1. Wojciech Kopczuk, 2012. "Taxation of Intergenerational Transfers and Wealth," NBER Working Papers 18584, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    2. Sjögren, Tomas, 2016. "Consumption Norms with Endogenous Norm Beliefs – Implications for Welfare, Commodity Taxation and Income Redistribution," Umeå Economic Studies 938, Umeå University, Department of Economics.
    3. Bas (B.) Jacobs & Rick (F.) van der Ploeg, 2017. "Should Pollution Taxes Be Targeted At Income Redistribution?," Tinbergen Institute Discussion Papers 17-070/VI, Tinbergen Institute.
    4. Paul Eckerstorfer, 2013. "Optimal Redistributive Taxation in a Multiexternality Model," FinanzArchiv: Public Finance Analysis, Mohr Siebeck, Tübingen, vol. 69(1), pages 115-128, March.
    5. Ronald Wendner, 2014. "Ramsey, Pigou, Heterogeneous Agents, and Nonatmospheric Consumption Externalities," Journal of Public Economic Theory, Association for Public Economic Theory, vol. 16(3), pages 491-521, June.
    6. Philippe Bontems & Estelle Gozlan, 2018. "Trade, Environment and Income Inequality: An Optimal Taxation Approach," Post-Print hal-01702525, HAL.
    7. Eckerstorfer, Paul & Wendner, Ronald, 2013. "Asymmetric and non-atmospheric consumption externalities, and efficient consumption taxation," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 106(C), pages 42-56.
    8. Luca Micheletto, 2011. "Optimal Nonlinear Redistributive Taxation and Public Good Provision in an Economy with Veblen Effects," Journal of Public Economic Theory, Association for Public Economic Theory, vol. 13(1), pages 71-96, February.
    9. Firouz Gahvari, 2010. "Principle of Targeting in Environmental Taxation," Korean Economic Review, Korean Economic Association, vol. 26, pages 223-266.
    10. Earl L. Grinols & Peri Silva, 2012. "Intervention Efficiency, Incentive Symmetry, and Information," Development Working Papers 334, Centro Studi Luca d'Agliano, University of Milano, revised 16 Jul 2012.
    11. König, Tobias & Lausen, Tobias, 2016. "Relative consumption preferences and public provision of private goods," Discussion Papers, Research Unit: Market Behavior SP II 2016-213, Social Science Research Center Berlin (WZB).
    12. Paul Eckerstorfer, 2014. "Relative Consumption Concerns and the Optimal Tax Mix," Journal of Public Economic Theory, Association for Public Economic Theory, vol. 16(6), pages 936-958, December.
    13. Květa Kubátová, 2009. "Optimal Taxation - Review of Theory," Český finanční a účetní časopis, University of Economics, Prague, vol. 2009(3), pages 24-36.
    14. Alessandro Balestrino, 2012. "Taxes, Status Goods, and Piracy," CESifo Working Paper Series 3704, CESifo Group Munich.
    15. Thomas Aronsson & Olof Johansson-Stenman, 2013. "Veblen’s theory of the leisure class revisited: implications for optimal income taxation," Social Choice and Welfare, Springer;The Society for Social Choice and Welfare, vol. 41(3), pages 551-578, September.
    16. Firouz Gahvari, 2014. "Second-Best Pigouvian Taxation: A Clarification," Environmental & Resource Economics, Springer;European Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, vol. 59(4), pages 525-535, December.
    17. König, Tobias & Lausen, Tobias, 2017. "Relative Consumption Preferences and Public Provision of Private Goods," Rationality and Competition Discussion Paper Series 18, CRC TRR 190 Rationality and Competition.
    18. Jacobs, Bas & de Mooij, Ruud A., 2015. "Pigou meets Mirrlees: On the irrelevance of tax distortions for the second-best Pigouvian tax," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 71(C), pages 90-108.
    19. Wojciech Kopczuk, 2010. "Economics of estate taxation: a brief review of theory and evidence," NBER Working Papers 15741, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    20. Koenig, Tobias & Lausen, Tobias, 2013. "Relative Consumption, Optimal Taxation and Public Provision of Private Goods," Hannover Economic Papers (HEP) dp-510, Leibniz Universität Hannover, Wirtschaftswissenschaftliche Fakultät.

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