Public Versus Private Production Decisions: Redistribution and the Size of the Public Sector
We analyze the decision rules governing public employment policy, capital allocation between private and public sector, and the size of the public sector in a two-type and two-sector optimal nonlinear income-tax model with endogenous wages. The government can reduce wage inequality in the private sector by employing more unskilled workers and fewer skilled workers than is necessary to minimize cost at the prevailing gross wage rate and, if skilled labor and capital are complementary, by favoring public-sector capital accumulation. Therefore, production efficiency holds neither in public employment decision nor in capital allocation. The effects of public employment and investment on income inequality increase when the size of the public sector increases. The optimal size of the public sector is also shown to be relatively large when public employment and investments reduce wage inequality. These results help explain the growth in the public-sector size and why a larger government does not necessarily hamper growth.
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Volume (Year): 61 (2005)
Issue (Month): 1 (March)
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