Regulation and redistribution in utilities
The consumption of utilities (for example, energy and water), along with that of other goods such as food, clothing, shelter, health and education, is often thought of as something that has particular distributional significance. This concern is reflected by the range of welfare and regulatory measures in place that are designed to guard against non-participation or under-consumption. The pricing of these goods illustrates well the conflicting arguments between economic efficiency and equity. The case for charging VAT on fuel, for example, is essentially an efficiency argument which points to the distortionary effects of a tax system that increases the prices of some goods (for example, double-glazing) and not of others (for example, domestic energy). The counter-argument is based upon notions of equity: that it is unfair to tax a necessity because the effects fall hardest on the living standards of poor households.
Volume (Year): 16 (1995)
Issue (Month): 4 (January)
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References listed on IDEAS
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.:
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- Baker, Paul & Blundell, Richard, 1991. "The Microeconometric Approach to Modelling Energy Demand: Some Results for UK Households," Oxford Review of Economic Policy, Oxford University Press, vol. 7(2), pages 54-76, Summer.
- Vanessa Brechling & Stephen Smith, 1994. "Household energy efficiency in the UK," Fiscal Studies, Institute for Fiscal Studies, vol. 15(2), pages 44-56, May.
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