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Household Production and the Design of the Tax Structure

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  • Dan Anderberg
  • Alessandro Balestrino

Abstract

This paper amalgamates two topical issues in the economics ofcommodity taxation: the general case for non-uniformity, andthe tax treatment of commodities that are either inputs to householdproduction or close substitutes for household produced goods.Assuming a redistributive objective and that the government canimplement a non-linear income tax system and linear commoditytaxes we investigate if the existence of household productiongenerates a natural case for non-uniform commodity taxation.Four main results are reported. First, when the set of commoditiesis partitioned into consumption goods and input goods, and commoditytaxes are restricted to being within-group uniform, the compositecommodity theorem can be used to characterize the optimal commoditytaxes. Secondly, sufficient conditions for within-group uniformcommodity taxes to be fully optimal are derived. Thirdly, weargue that an input good should be taxed at a higher rate thangeneral consumption if and only if the degree of complementarityin household production (between the input good and a time-input)is larger than the degree of complementarity in consumption (betweengeneral consumption and the household produced good). Finally,we show that under simple normality, a market substitute forthe household-produced good should be taxed at a lower rate thangeneral consumption. The intuition for the last two results isthat the suggested pattern of taxation discourages ``do-it-yourself''behaviour, which relaxes the self-selection problem. Copyright Kluwer Academic Publishers 2000

Suggested Citation

  • Dan Anderberg & Alessandro Balestrino, 2000. "Household Production and the Design of the Tax Structure," International Tax and Public Finance, Springer;International Institute of Public Finance, vol. 7(4), pages 563-584, August.
  • Handle: RePEc:kap:itaxpf:v:7:y:2000:i:4:p:563-584
    DOI: 10.1023/A:1008749809286
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Strand, Jon, 2005. "Tax distortions, household production, and black-market work," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 21(4), pages 851-871, December.
    2. Jon Strand, 2002. "Effects of Progressive Taxes under Decentralized Bargaining and Heterogeneous Labor," International Tax and Public Finance, Springer;International Institute of Public Finance, vol. 9(2), pages 195-210, March.
    3. Javier Ferri & María Luisa Moltó & Ezequiel Uriel, 2009. "Time Use and Food Taxation in Spain," FinanzArchiv: Public Finance Analysis, Mohr Siebeck, Tübingen, vol. 65(3), pages 313-334, September.
    4. Alessandro Balestrino & Alessandro Cigno & Anna Pettini, 2002. "Endogenous Fertility and the Design of Family Taxation," International Tax and Public Finance, Springer;International Institute of Public Finance, vol. 9(2), pages 175-193, March.
    5. Alessandro Balestrino, 2011. "On Economics, Leisure and Much More," Chapters,in: Handbook on the Economics of Leisure, chapter 2 Edward Elgar Publishing.
    6. Javier Ferri & MarÌa Luisa MoltÛ & Ezequiel Uriel, "undated". "Time use, computable general equilibrium and tax policy analysis," Studies on the Spanish Economy 202, FEDEA.
    7. Francesca Carta, 2013. "Investing in the youngest: the optimal child care policy," Questioni di Economia e Finanza (Occasional Papers) 180, Bank of Italy, Economic Research and International Relations Area.

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