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Income Tax, Commodity Tax and Environmental Policy

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  • Jukka Pirttilä
  • Matti Tuomala

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Abstract

Using the self-selection approach to tax analysis, thepaper analyses the impact of environmental externalities on Pareto-efficientnon-linear income tax, proportional commodity taxes and publicexpenditure. Consideration of externalities within this frameworkreveals intuitive insights into environmental tax policy, suggestingthat some earlier conclusions drawn in the relevant literaturemight be misleading. The results indicate that, while the externality‘sdirect harmful impact raises marginal tax rates, the influencethrough the self-selection constraint tends to decrease the rise.We also derive conditions under which the Pigovian tax can bedetermined purely on the basis of internalizing the externality. Copyright Kluwer Academic Publishers 1997

Suggested Citation

  • Jukka Pirttilä & Matti Tuomala, 1997. "Income Tax, Commodity Tax and Environmental Policy," International Tax and Public Finance, Springer;International Institute of Public Finance, vol. 4(3), pages 379-393, July.
  • Handle: RePEc:kap:itaxpf:v:4:y:1997:i:3:p:379-393
    DOI: 10.1023/A:1008624623340
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Bovenberg, A. L. & van der Ploeg, F., 1994. "Environmental policy, public finance and the labour market in a second-best world," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 55(3), pages 349-390, November.
    2. Boadway, Robin & Keen, Michael, 1993. "Public Goods, Self-Selection and Optimal Income Taxation," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 34(3), pages 463-478, August.
    3. de Bovenberg, A Lans & Mooij, Ruud A, 1994. "Environmental Levies and Distortionary Taxation," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 84(4), pages 1085-1089, September.
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    8. Stern, Nicholas, 1982. "Optimum taxation with errors in administration," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 17(2), pages 181-211, March.
    9. Stiglitz, Joseph E., 1982. "Self-selection and Pareto efficient taxation," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 17(2), pages 213-240, March.
    10. Stephen Smith, 1992. "Taxation and the environment: a survey," Fiscal Studies, Institute for Fiscal Studies, vol. 13(4), pages 21-57, January.
    11. Agnar Sandmo, 1980. "Anomaly and Stability in the Theory of Externalities," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 94(4), pages 799-807.
    12. Mirrlees, J. A., 1976. "Optimal tax theory : A synthesis," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 6(4), pages 327-358, November.
    13. Oswald, Andrew J., 1983. "Altruism, jealousy and the theory of optimal non-linear taxation," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 20(1), pages 77-87, February.
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