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Demonstrating the Equivalence between Two Methods of Measuring Excess Burden


  • Gregory A. Trandel


Excess burden is a key concept in the field of public economics, and the authors of most public finance textbooks describe more than one way to measure it. Excess burden can, for example, be viewed as the area of a triangle underneath a demand curve or as the value of a mathematical formula. To emphasize that these approaches measure the same concept, an instructor can show that changing any relevant variable has the same effect on excess burden in both representations. In so doing, instructors must take particular care when drawing the demand curves associated with changes in price and quantity.

Suggested Citation

  • Gregory A. Trandel, 2003. "Demonstrating the Equivalence between Two Methods of Measuring Excess Burden," The Journal of Economic Education, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 34(1), pages 54-59, January.
  • Handle: RePEc:taf:jeduce:v:34:y:2003:i:1:p:54-59
    DOI: 10.1080/00220480309595200

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