IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/a/eee/pubeco/v96y2012i1p211-217.html
   My bibliography  Save this article

Genuine saving and the social cost of taxation

Author

Listed:
  • Aronsson, Thomas
  • Cialani, Catia
  • Löfgren, Karl-Gustaf

Abstract

Following the 1987 report by The World Commission on Environment and Development, the genuine saving has come to play a key role in the context of sustainable development, and the World Bank regularly publishes numbers for genuine saving on a national basis. However, these numbers are typically calculated as if the tax system is non-distortionary. This paper presents an analogue to genuine saving in a second best economy, where the government raises revenue by means of distortionary taxation. We show how the social cost of public debt, which depends on the marginal excess burden, ought to be reflected in the genuine saving. By presenting calculations for Greece, Japan, Portugal, U.K., U.S. and OECD average, we also show that the numbers published by the World Bank are likely to be biased and may even give incorrect information as to whether the economy is locally sustainable.

Suggested Citation

  • Aronsson, Thomas & Cialani, Catia & Löfgren, Karl-Gustaf, 2012. "Genuine saving and the social cost of taxation," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 96(1), pages 211-217.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:pubeco:v:96:y:2012:i:1:p:211-217
    DOI: 10.1016/j.jpubeco.2011.10.002
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0047272711001599
    Download Restriction: Full text for ScienceDirect subscribers only

    As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to search for a different version of it.

    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Kenneth Arrow & Partha Dasgupta & Karl-Göran Mäler, 2003. "Evaluating Projects and Assessing Sustainable Development in Imperfect Economies," Environmental & Resource Economics, Springer;European Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, vol. 26(4), pages 647-685, December.
    2. World Commission on Environment and Development,, 1987. "Our Common Future," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, number 9780192820808.
    3. Hamilton, Kirk, 1996. "Pollution and Pollution Abatement in the National Accounts," Review of Income and Wealth, International Association for Research in Income and Wealth, vol. 42(1), pages 13-33, March.
    4. Pezzey, J.C.V.John C. V., 2004. "One-sided sustainability tests with amenities, and changes in technology, trade and population," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 48(1), pages 613-631, July.
    5. Asheim, Geir B, 1994. " Net National Product as an Indicator of Sustainability," Scandinavian Journal of Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 96(2), pages 257-265.
    6. Martin L. Weitzman, 1976. "On the Welfare Significance of National Product in a Dynamic Economy," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 90(1), pages 156-162.
    7. Aronsson, Thomas, 1998. "Welfare measurement, green accounting and distortionary taxes," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 70(2), pages 273-295, November.
    8. Aronsson, Thomas & Lofgren, Karl-Gustaf, 1996. " Social Accounting and Welfare Measurement in a Growth Model with Human Capital," Scandinavian Journal of Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 98(2), pages 185-201, June.
    9. Chamley, Christophe, 1986. "Optimal Taxation of Capital Income in General Equilibrium with Infinite Lives," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 54(3), pages 607-622, May.
    10. Hamilton, Kirk, 1994. "Green adjustments to GDP," Resources Policy, Elsevier, vol. 20(3), pages 155-168, September.
    11. Pearce, David W. & Atkinson, Giles D., 1993. "Capital theory and the measurement of sustainable development: an indicator of "weak" sustainability," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 8(2), pages 103-108, October.
    12. Thomas Aronsson, 2008. "Social Accounting And The Public Sector," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 49(1), pages 349-375, February.
    13. Chamley, Christophe, 1985. "Efficient Taxation in a Stylized Model of Intertemporal General Equilibrium," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 26(2), pages 451-468, June.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    Citations

    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.
    as


    Cited by:

    1. Aronsson, Thomas & Johansson-Stenman, Olof, 2014. "Genuine Saving and Conspicuous Consumption," Umeå Economic Studies 900, Umeå University, Department of Economics.
    2. Rintaro Yamaguchi & Masayuki Sato & Kazuhiro Ueta, 2016. "Measuring Regional Wealth and Assessing Sustainable Development: An Application to a Disaster-Torn Region in Japan," Social Indicators Research: An International and Interdisciplinary Journal for Quality-of-Life Measurement, Springer, vol. 129(1), pages 365-389, October.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Welfare change; Investment; Saving; Taxation;

    JEL classification:

    • D60 - Microeconomics - - Welfare Economics - - - General
    • H21 - Public Economics - - Taxation, Subsidies, and Revenue - - - Efficiency; Optimal Taxation
    • I31 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Welfare, Well-Being, and Poverty - - - General Welfare, Well-Being
    • Q56 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Environmental Economics - - - Environment and Development; Environment and Trade; Sustainability; Environmental Accounts and Accounting; Environmental Equity; Population Growth

    Statistics

    Access and download statistics

    Corrections

    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:eee:pubeco:v:96:y:2012:i:1:p:211-217. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Dana Niculescu). General contact details of provider: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/inca/505578 .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If CitEc recognized a reference but did not link an item in RePEc to it, you can help with this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.