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Are Nash Tax Rates too Low or Too High? The Role of Endogenous Growth in Models with Public Goods

  • George Economides

    (Athens University of Economics and Business and University of Cyprus)

  • Apostolis Philippopoulos

    (Athens University of Economics and Business)

We reconsider the conventional wisdom that, in the presence of public goods, Nash tax rates are inefficiently low and decrease with the size of population. We use a general equilibrium dynamic model of a world economy, in which world-wide environmental quality has public good features. We show that the type of policy externality from one country to another (and hence whether we under-tax, or over-tax, in a Nash equilibrium relative to a cooperative one) can be reversed, when we introduce dynamics. Specifically, the policy externality changes from positive (which is the static, standard case) to negative, once the same model allows for long-term endogenous growth. This happens because in a growing economy, long-run capital tax bases are elastic so that a higher tax rate leads to lower economic growth, smaller tax bases, lower tax revenues, lower clean-up policy in each country, and this eventually generates a negative external effect upon other countries. Then, negative policy externalities imply that Nash tax rates are inefficiently high and increase with the size of population (Copyright: Elsevier)

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Article provided by Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics in its journal Review of Economic Dynamics.

Volume (Year): 6 (2003)
Issue (Month): 1 (January)
Pages: 37-53

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Handle: RePEc:red:issued:v:6:y:2003:i:1:p:37-53
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  1. Bovenberg, A.L. & Smulders, J.A., 1993. "Environmental quality and pollution-saving technological change in a two-sector endogenous growth model," Discussion Paper 1993-21, Tilburg University, Center for Economic Research.
  2. Bovenberg, A.L. & Smulders, J.A., 1995. "Environmental quality and pollution-augmenting technological change in a two-sector endogenous growth model," Other publications TiSEM 6784bb12-71fb-45a5-bf7e-8, Tilburg University, School of Economics and Management.
  3. Baumol,William J. & Oates,Wallace E., 1988. "The Theory of Environmental Policy," Cambridge Books, Cambridge University Press, number 9780521322249.
  4. Benhabib, J. & Rustichini, A. & Velasco, A., 1996. "Public Capital and Optimal Taxes Without Commitment," Working Papers 96-19, C.V. Starr Center for Applied Economics, New York University.
  5. Jones, Larry E. & Manuelli, Rodolfo E., 1997. "Endogenous growth theory: An introduction," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 21(1), pages 1-22, January.
  6. Benhabib, Jess & Rustichini, Aldo, 1997. "Optimal Taxes without Commitment," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 77(2), pages 231-259, December.
  7. David F. Bradford & Rebecca Schlieckert & Stephen H. Shore, 2000. "The Environmental Kuznets Curve: Exploring A Fresh Specification," NBER Working Papers 8001, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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  16. Oakland, William H., 1987. "Theory of public goods," Handbook of Public Economics, in: A. J. Auerbach & M. Feldstein (ed.), Handbook of Public Economics, edition 1, volume 2, chapter 9, pages 485-535 Elsevier.
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