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Optimal two-part tariffs in a model of discrete choice

  • DE BORGER; Bruno

In this paper we study welfare-optimal two-part tariffs in a model of discrete choice. The determinants of the sign and magnitude of the fixed and variable tax are analysed in terms of the nature and degree of consumer heterogeneity, the price sensitivities of participation probabilities and conditional demands, and the nature of distributional concerns. In the absence of distributional concerns, the model generalises the ‘corrected’ Ramsey rule for the variable tax and it shows that, in the absence of collection or fixed participation costs, the fixed fee may be negative. The conditions that determine the sign of the participation fee turn out to have an intuitive economic interpretation. Finally, the implications of distributional concerns for the optimal fixed and variable taxes are analysed.

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Paper provided by University of Antwerp, Faculty of Applied Economics in its series Working Papers with number 1999005.

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Length: 37 pages
Date of creation:
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:ant:wpaper:1999005
Contact details of provider: Postal: Prinsstraat 13, B-2000 Antwerpen
Web page: https://www.uantwerp.be/en/faculties/applied-economic-sciences/

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  1. Spence, A Michael, 1980. "Multi-Product Quantity-Dependent Prices and Profitability Constraints," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 47(5), pages 821-41, October.
  2. Richard Schmalensee, 1981. "Monopolistic Two-Part Pricing Arrangements," Bell Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 12(2), pages 445-466, Autumn.
  3. Rosen, Harvey S., 1979. "Housing decisions and the U.S. income tax : An econometric analysis," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 11(1), pages 1-23, February.
  4. Ng, Yew-Kwang & Weisser, Mendel, 1974. "Optimal Pricing with a Budget Constraint-The Case of the Two-part Tariff," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 41(3), pages 337-45, July.
  5. Harvey S. Rosen & Kenneth A. Small, 1979. "Applied Welfare Economics with Discrete Choice Models," NBER Working Papers 0319, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  6. Cremer, Helmuth & Gahvari, Firouz, 2002. " Nonlinear Pricing, Redistribution, and Optimal Tax Policy," Journal of Public Economic Theory, Association for Public Economic Theory, vol. 4(2), pages 139-61.
  7. De Jong, G. C., 1990. "An indirect utility model of car ownership and private car use," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 34(5), pages 971-985, July.
  8. P. A. Diamond, 1975. "A Many-Person Ramsey Tax Rule," Working papers 146, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Department of Economics.
  9. Small, Kenneth A., 1983. "The incidence of congestion tolls on urban highways," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 13(1), pages 90-111, January.
  10. Conrad, K & Schroder, M, 1991. "Demand for Durable and Nondurable Goods, Environmental Policy and Consumer Welfare," Journal of Applied Econometrics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 6(3), pages 271-86, July-Sept.
  11. Glazer, Amihai & Niskanen, Esko, 1992. "Parking fees and congestion," Regional Science and Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 22(1), pages 123-132, March.
  12. Mayeres, Inge & Proost, Stef, 1997. " Optimal Tax and Public Investment Rules for Congestion Type of Externalities," Scandinavian Journal of Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 99(2), pages 261-79, June.
  13. Damus, Sylvester, 1981. "Two-Part Tariffs and Optimum Taxation: The Case of Railway Rates," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 71(1), pages 65-79, March.
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