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Large Taxes, Status Goods, and Piracy

Author

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  • Alessandro Balestrino

Abstract

This paper studies the design of indirect redistributive taxation and of corrective taxation in the presence of status goods, allowing for the possibility that illegal copies of those goods may be purchased on black markets (the phenomenon of piracy). Heavy taxation of status goods, despite the fact that these are typically overconsumed, is not particularly favored in a context of social-welfare maximization, because the tax is highly distortionary, due to the presence of piracy. It is also noted that corrective taxation, aimed at remedying the inefficiencies associated with the consumption externalities generated by the status goods, is made ineffective by piracy.

Suggested Citation

  • Alessandro Balestrino, 2014. "Large Taxes, Status Goods, and Piracy," FinanzArchiv: Public Finance Analysis, Mohr Siebeck, Tübingen, vol. 70(1), pages 97-115, March.
  • Handle: RePEc:mhr:finarc:urn:sici:0015-2218(201403)70:1_97:ltsgap_2.0.tx_2-4
    DOI: 10.1628/001522108X679165
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Alessandro Balestrino, "undated". "Tax Avoidance, Endogenous Social Norms, and the Comparison Income Effect," EPRU Working Paper Series 05-15, Economic Policy Research Unit (EPRU), University of Copenhagen. Department of Economics, revised Dec 2005.
    2. Blomquist, Soren & Micheletto, Luca, 2006. "Optimal redistributive taxation when government's and agents' preferences differ," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 90(6-7), pages 1215-1233, August.
    3. KennethJ. Arrow & ParthaS. Dasgupta, 2009. "Conspicuous Consumption, Inconspicuous Leisure," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 119(541), pages 497-516, November.
    4. Alessandro Balestrino, 2006. "Tax Avoidance, Endogenous Social Norms, and the Comparison Income Effect," CESifo Working Paper Series 1758, CESifo Group Munich.
    5. Alessandro Balestrino, 2007. "It is a Theft but not a Crime," CESifo Working Paper Series 2047, CESifo Group Munich.
    6. Balestrino, Alessandro, 2008. "It is a theft but not a crime," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 24(2), pages 455-469, June.
    7. Rafael Aigner, 2014. "Environmental Taxation and Redistribution Concerns," FinanzArchiv: Public Finance Analysis, Mohr Siebeck, Tübingen, vol. 70(2), pages 249-277, June.
    8. Sören Blomquist & Luca Micheletto, 2005. "Optimal Redistributive Taxation when Government’s and Agents’ Preferences Differ," CESifo Working Paper Series 1429, CESifo Group Munich.
    9. Allingham, Michael G. & Sandmo, Agnar, 1972. "Income tax evasion: a theoretical analysis," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 1(3-4), pages 323-338, November.
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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Florian Baumann & Tim Friehe & Inga Hillesheim, 2015. "Status and Liability," Journal of Institutional and Theoretical Economics (JITE), Mohr Siebeck, Tübingen, vol. 171(2), pages 285-307, June.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    social status; indirect taxes; corrective taxes; median voter; piracy;

    JEL classification:

    • H23 - Public Economics - - Taxation, Subsidies, and Revenue - - - Externalities; Redistributive Effects; Environmental Taxes and Subsidies
    • H26 - Public Economics - - Taxation, Subsidies, and Revenue - - - Tax Evasion and Avoidance
    • D72 - Microeconomics - - Analysis of Collective Decision-Making - - - Political Processes: Rent-seeking, Lobbying, Elections, Legislatures, and Voting Behavior

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