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The theory of excess burden and optimal taxation

In: Handbook of Public Economics

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  • Auerbach, Alan J.

Abstract

The purpose of this paper is to present the chronological development ofthe concept of excess burden and the related study of optimal tax theory. A main objective of this exercise is to uncover the interrelationships among various apparently distinct results, so as to bring out the basic structure of the entire problem.The paper includes a discussion of various measures of excess burden,focusing on issues of approximation, informational requirements, aggregation over individuals, and the effects of technology. Included in the presentation of optimal tax theory is a section on tax reform, as well as an application of the theory to the case where uncertainty is present.
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Suggested Citation

  • Auerbach, Alan J., 1985. "The theory of excess burden and optimal taxation," Handbook of Public Economics,in: A. J. Auerbach & M. Feldstein (ed.), Handbook of Public Economics, edition 1, volume 1, chapter 2, pages 61-127 Elsevier.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:pubchp:1-02
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Harvey S. Rosen, 1978. "The Measurement of Excess Burden with Explicit Utility Functions," NBER Chapters,in: Research in Taxation, pages 121-135 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    2. Small, Kenneth A & Rosen, Harvey S, 1981. "Applied Welfare Economics with Discrete Choice Models," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 49(1), pages 105-130, January.
    3. Roberts, Kevin, 1980. "Price-Independent Welfare Prescriptions," Empirical Economics, Springer, vol. 13(3), pages 277-297, June.
    4. Weiss, Laurence, 1976. "The Desirability of Cheating Incentives and Randomness in the Optimal Income Tax," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 84(6), pages 1343-1352, December.
    5. H. A. John Green, 1961. "The Social Optimum in the presence of Monopoly and Taxation," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 29(1), pages 66-78.
    6. Tatsuo Hatta, 1977. "A Theory of Piecemeal Policy Recommendations," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 44(1), pages 1-21.
    7. Guesnerie, Roger, 1977. "On the direction of tax reform," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 7(2), pages 179-202, April.
    8. A. B. Atkinson & N. H. Stern, 1974. "Pigou, Taxation and Public Goods," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 41(1), pages 119-128.
    9. Venti, Steven F. & Wise, David A., 1984. "Moving and housing expenditure: Transaction costs and disequilibrium," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 23(1-2), pages 207-243.
    10. Cooter, Robert, 1979. "A new expenditure function," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 2(2), pages 103-110.
    11. Rothschild, Michael & Stiglitz, Joseph E., 1970. "Increasing risk: I. A definition," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 2(3), pages 225-243, September.
    12. Boadway, Robin & Harris, Richard, 1977. "A characterization of piecemeal second best policy," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 8(2), pages 169-190, October.
    13. Foster, Edward & Sonnenschein, Hugo, 1970. "Price Distortion and Economic Welfare," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 38(2), pages 281-297, March.
    14. Chipman, John S & Moore, James C, 1980. "Compensating Variation, Consumer's Surplus, and Welfare," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 70(5), pages 933-949, December.
    15. Feldstein, Martin S, 1972. "Distributional Equity and the Optimal Structure of Public Prices," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 62(1), pages 32-36, March.
    16. Hausman, Jerry A, 1981. "Exact Consumer's Surplus and Deadweight Loss," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 71(4), pages 662-676, September.
    17. Bradford, David F & Rosen, Harvey S, 1976. "The Optimal Taxation of Commodities and Income," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 66(2), pages 94-101, May.
    18. Diewert, W. E., 1978. "Optimal tax perturbations," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 10(2), pages 139-177, October.
    19. Dixit, Avinash K, 1970. "On the Optimum Structure of Commodity Taxes," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 60(3), pages 295-301, June.
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    JEL classification:

    • H0 - Public Economics - - General

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