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Labor and Capital Taxation with Public Inputs as Common Property

Author

Listed:
  • James P. Feehan

    (Memorial University of Newfoundland, Canada)

  • Raymond G. Batina

    (Washington State University)

Abstract

The services of many public inputs (e.g., dams, irrigation systems, and highways) are provided to private firms on a free-access basis. If these services enter constant-returns-to-scale production functions then there are decreasing returns to scale in the private factors. Thus a change in the amount of a public input gives rise to positive rent or economic profit in the first instance. The authors extend the literature by recognizing that this rent cannot be an equilibrium phenomenon. Private agents will engage in rent-seeking that will ultimately lead to dissipation. This makes a public input equivalent to a common property resource, which, in the absence of the appropriate price or quantity rationing, gives rise to inefficiency. Using a model with capital and labor as private inputs, the authors show it is optimal to tax capital even though a labor tax is available and capital is internationally mobile. Production efficiency also holds since our policy supports the first-best equilibrium despite decreasing returns to scale in private inputs.

Suggested Citation

  • James P. Feehan & Raymond G. Batina, 2007. "Labor and Capital Taxation with Public Inputs as Common Property," Public Finance Review, , vol. 35(5), pages 626-642, September.
  • Handle: RePEc:sae:pubfin:v:35:y:2007:i:5:p:626-642
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. José Luis Torres Chacon, 2015. "Introduction to Dynamic Macroeconomic General Equilibrium Models," Vernon Press Titles in Economics, Vernon Art and Science Inc, edition 2, number 54, December.
    2. Feehan, James P. & Matsumoto, Mutsumi, 2017. "Optimal rationing of productive public services under tax competition," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 151(C), pages 79-81.
    3. Igor Fedotenkov & Lex Meijdam, 2014. "Pension reform with migration and mobile capital: is a Pareto improvement possible?," International Economics and Economic Policy, Springer, vol. 11(3), pages 431-450, September.
    4. José Luis Torres Chacon, 2015. "Introduction to Dynamic Macroeconomic General Equilibrium Models [Second Edition, Paperback]," Vernon Press Titles in Economics, Vernon Art and Science Inc, edition 2, number 44.
    5. T. Buyse & F. Heylen, 2012. "Leaving the empirical (battle)ground: Output and welfare effects of fiscal consolidation in general equilibrium," Working Papers of Faculty of Economics and Business Administration, Ghent University, Belgium 12/826, Ghent University, Faculty of Economics and Business Administration.
    6. Fernández-de-Córdoba, Gonzalo & Torres, José L., 2012. "Fiscal harmonization in the European Union with public inputs," Economic Modelling, Elsevier, vol. 29(5), pages 2024-2034.
    7. Matsumoto, Mutsumi & Feehan, James P., 2010. "Capital-tax financing and scale economies in public-input production," Regional Science and Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 40(2-3), pages 116-121, May.
    8. Ramón José Torregrosa Montaner, 2015. "Common-property, public infrastructure and rent dissipation in the long-run," Working Papers. Serie AD 2015-10, Instituto Valenciano de Investigaciones Económicas, S.A. (Ivie).
    9. Fedotenkov, I., 2012. "Pensions and ageing in a globalizing world. International spillover effects via trade and factor mobility," Other publications TiSEM 8830bc21-4138-4479-8459-a, Tilburg University, School of Economics and Management.

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