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Mixed Tax Systems and the Public Provision of Private Goods

  • Alessandro Balestrino

In contrast to what used to be conventional wisdom among economists,several recent contributions have shown that in-kind transfersschemes can be welfare-improving in the presence of distortionarytaxes (usually, linear taxes or a general income tax). In thisnote, we extend previous work by considering the most generaltax system compatible with reasonable information constraints,i.e. a mix of linear indirect and non-linear direct taxes. Threemain results are noted. We find that in the presence of a mixedtax system (as opposed to the non-linear income tax alone): i) not only encouraged but also discouraged goods satisfy a conditionfor the desirability of public provision; ii) there is a tendencyfor the optimal level of in-kind transfers to be lower; iii)there is a basic equivalence between uniform and income-contingentin-kind transfers. We also show how previous results can be derivedas special cases of ours and others have to be modified to accountfor the mixed tax system. Copyright Kluwer Academic Publishers 2000

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Article provided by Springer in its journal International Tax and Public Finance.

Volume (Year): 7 (2000)
Issue (Month): 4 (August)
Pages: 463-478

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Handle: RePEc:kap:itaxpf:v:7:y:2000:i:4:p:463-478
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  1. Cremer, Helmuth & Gahvari, Firouz, 1997. "In-kind transfers, self-selection and optimal tax policy," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 41(1), pages 97-114, January.
  2. Blomquist, Suren & Christiansen, Vidar, 1995. " Public Provision of Private Goods as a Redistributive Device in an Optimum Income Tax Model," Scandinavian Journal of Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 97(4), pages 547-67, December.
  3. Robin Boadway & Michael Keen, 1991. "Public Goods, Self-Selection and Optimal Income Taxation," Working Papers 828, Queen's University, Department of Economics.
  4. Gahvari, Firouz, 1994. "In-kind transfers, cash grants and labor supply," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 55(3), pages 495-504, November.
  5. Munro, Alistair, 1992. "Self-Selection and Optimal In-Sind Transfers," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 102(414), pages 1184-96, September.
  6. Ireland, Norman J., 1990. "The mix of social and private provision of goods and services," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 43(2), pages 201-219, November.
  7. BOADWAY, Robin & MARCHAND, Maurice & SATO, Motohiro, 1997. "Subsidies versus public provision of private goods as instruments for redistibution," CORE Discussion Papers 1997071, Université catholique de Louvain, Center for Operations Research and Econometrics (CORE).
  8. Neil Bruce & Michael Waldman, 1988. "Transfers in Kind: Why They Can Be Efficient and Non-Paternalistic," UCLA Economics Working Papers 532, UCLA Department of Economics.
  9. Guesnerie Roger & Roberts Kevin, 1980. "Effective policy tools and quantity controls," CEPREMAP Working Papers (Couverture Orange) 8014, CEPREMAP.
  10. Munro, Alistair, 1991. "The optimal public provision of private goods," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 44(2), pages 239-261, March.
  11. Atkinson, A. B. & Stiglitz, J. E., 1976. "The design of tax structure: Direct versus indirect taxation," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 6(1-2), pages 55-75.
  12. Blomquist, Sören & Christiansen, Vidar, 1998. "The Political Economy of Publicly Provided Private Goods," Working Paper Series 1998:14, Uppsala University, Department of Economics.
  13. Blomquist, Soren & Christiansen, Vidar, 1998. "Topping Up or Opting Out? The Optimal Design of Public Provision Schemes," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 39(2), pages 399-411, May.
  14. Mirrlees, J. A., 1976. "Optimal tax theory : A synthesis," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 6(4), pages 327-358, November.
  15. Boadway, R. & Marchand, M., 1990. "The use of public expenditures for distributive purposes," CORE Discussion Papers 1990066, Université catholique de Louvain, Center for Operations Research and Econometrics (CORE).
  16. Balestrino, Alessandro, 1999. " The Desirability of In-Kind Transfers in the Presence of Distortionary Taxes," Journal of Economic Surveys, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 13(4), pages 333-54, September.
  17. Gahvari, Firouz, 1995. "In-Kind versus Cash Transfers in the Presence of Distortionary Taxes," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 33(1), pages 45-53, January.
  18. Nava, Mario & Schroyen, Fred & Marchand, Maurice, 1996. "Optimal fiscal and public expenditure policy in a two-class economy," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 61(1), pages 119-137, July.
  19. Nichols, Albert L & Zeckhauser, Richard J, 1982. "Targeting Transfers through Restrictions on Recipients," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 72(2), pages 372-77, May.
  20. Sören Blomquist & Vidar Christiansen, . "Price Subsidies versus Public Provision," EPRU Working Paper Series 97-08, Economic Policy Research Unit (EPRU), University of Copenhagen. Department of Economics.
  21. Neary, J.P & Roberts, K.W.S, 1978. "The Theory of Household Behaviour under Rationing," The Warwick Economics Research Paper Series (TWERPS) 132, University of Warwick, Department of Economics.
  22. Balestrino, Alessandro, 1999. " User Charges as Redistributive Devices," Journal of Public Economic Theory, Association for Public Economic Theory, vol. 1(4), pages 511-24.
  23. Besley, T. & Coate, S., 1989. "Public Provision Of Private Goods And The Redistribution Of Income," Papers 36, Princeton, Woodrow Wilson School - Discussion Paper.
  24. Anderberg, Dan, 2001. " Social Insurance with In-Kind Provision of Private Goods," Scandinavian Journal of Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 103(1), pages 41-61, March.
  25. L. Wade, 1988. "Review," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 58(1), pages 99-100, July.
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