Assume the Positional: Comment on Robert Frank
We examine Robert Frankâ€™s arguments for taxation to mitigate positional externalities. The scarcity that characterizes positional goods is real, but various mechanisms reduce the potential waste, and Frank overstates the case for a governmental solution. The plausibility of Frankâ€™s arguments for extensive market failure requires various assumptions, including the usefulness of happiness comparisons over time, the widespread existence of winner-take-all markets, the failure of voluntary evolution to internalize externalities, and that both â€œleisureâ€ and governmental activities are significantly less positional than the full-range of activities Frank proposes to tax. Each assumption is shaky. Frankâ€™s policy solutions overlook standard public choice arguments against government expansion and shrug off the Smithian burden of proof incumbent on those proposing coercion.
Volume (Year): 3 (2006)
Issue (Month): 3 (September)
|Contact details of provider:|| Postal: Enterprise Hall, Room 354, 4400 University Drive, 3G4 Fairfax, VA 22030|
Phone: (703) 993-1151
Web page: https://econjwatch.org/
More information through EDIRC
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
- Michael Spence, 2002.
"Signaling in Retrospect and the Informational Structure of Markets,"
American Economic Review,
American Economic Association, vol. 92(3), pages 434-459, June.
- Spence, A. Michael, 2001. "Signaling in Retrospect and the Informational Structure of Markets," Nobel Prize in Economics documents 2001-6, Nobel Prize Committee.
- Steven J. Davis & Magnus Henrekson, 2004. "Tax Effects on Work Activity, Industry Mix and Shadow Economy Size: Evidence from Rich-Country Comparisons," NBER Working Papers 10509, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Davis, Steven J. & Henrekson, Magnus, 2004. "Tax Effects on Work Activity, Industry Mix and Shadow Economy Size: Evidence from Rich-Country Comparisons," SSE/EFI Working Paper Series in Economics and Finance 560, Stockholm School of Economics.
- Davis, Steven J. & Henrekson, Magnus, 2004. "Tax Effects on Work Activity, Industry Mix and Shadow Economy Size: Evidence from Rich-Country Comparisons," Ratio Working Papers 57, The Ratio Institute.
- Daniel Kahneman & Alan B. Krueger, 2006. "Developments in the Measurement of Subjective Well-Being," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 20(1), pages 3-24, Winter.
- Mark Aguiar & Erik Hurst, 2006. "Measuring trends in leisure: the allocation of time over five decades," Working Papers 06-2, Federal Reserve Bank of Boston.
- Mark Aguiar & Erik Hurst, 2006. "Measuring Trends in Leisure: The Allocation of Time Over Five Decades," NBER Working Papers 12082, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:ejw:journl:v:3:y:2006:i:3:p:412-434. 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: (Jason Briggeman)
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.