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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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  3. Gahvari, Firouz, 1994. "In-kind transfers, cash grants and labor supply," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 55(3), pages 495-504, November.
  4. Boadway, Robin & Marchand, Maurice, 1995. "The Use of Public Expenditures for Redistributive Purposes," Oxford Economic Papers, Oxford University Press, vol. 47(1), pages 45-59, January.
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  6. 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).
  7. Robin Boadway & Michael Keen, 1991. "Public Goods, Self-Selection and Optimal Income Taxation," Working Papers 828, Queen's University, Department of Economics.
  8. 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.
  9. 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.
  10. Blomquist, Sören & Christiansen, Vidar, 1997. "Price Subsidies versus Public Provision," Working Paper Series 1997:12, Uppsala University, Department of Economics.
  11. Munro, Alistair, 1992. "Self-Selection and Optimal In-Sind Transfers," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 102(414), pages 1184-96, September.
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  15. 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.
  16. Balestrino, Alessandro, 1999. " User Charges as Redistributive Devices," Journal of Public Economic Theory, Association for Public Economic Theory, vol. 1(4), pages 511-24.
  17. 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.
  18. Guesnerie, Roger & Roberts, Kevin, 1984. "Effective Policy Tools and Quantity Controls," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 52(1), pages 59-86, January.
  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.
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  21. 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.
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