IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/p/ays/ispwps/paper1105.html
   My bibliography  Save this paper

Public Goods, Labor Supply and the Source of Economic Distortions

Author

Abstract

According to the conventional public finance literature any tax instrument other than the lump-sum tax is inherently distortionary because it alters relative prices. This paper revisits the case of the labor income tax and shows that its supposedly distortionary effects are the result of a stringent assumption about labor supply behavior. The conventional time allocation model generally assumes that taxpayers disregard the marginal benefits of taxation, received in the form of additional public goods, in their labor supply responses to the labor income tax. In line with previous literature stressing the importance of government spending for labor supply behavior, this paper generalizes the traditional model by describing the behavior of taxpayers that consider both the marginal costs and the marginal benefits of the labor income tax. Under these less stringent assumptions the paper derives an efficient (undistorted) solution to the public goods problem, where taxpayers contribute to the public goods in accordance to their individual marginal benefits while the relative value of leisure remains equal to the pre-tax wage rate.

Suggested Citation

  • Cristian Sepúlveda, 2010. "Public Goods, Labor Supply and the Source of Economic Distortions," International Center for Public Policy Working Paper Series, at AYSPS, GSU paper1105, International Center for Public Policy, Andrew Young School of Policy Studies, Georgia State University.
  • Handle: RePEc:ays:ispwps:paper1105
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: http://icepp.gsu.edu/files/2017/10/ispwp1105.pdf
    Download Restriction: no

    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Blundell, Richard, 2016. "Labor Supply and Taxation," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, number 9780198749806 edited by Peichl, Andreas & Zimmermann, Klaus F..
    2. Blundell, Richard & Macurdy, Thomas, 1999. "Labor supply: A review of alternative approaches," Handbook of Labor Economics,in: O. Ashenfelter & D. Card (ed.), Handbook of Labor Economics, edition 1, volume 3, chapter 27, pages 1559-1695 Elsevier.
    3. 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.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    More about this item

    Keywords

    public goods; distortion; Lindahl price; labor tax; lump-sum tax; labor supply;

    NEP fields

    This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:

    Statistics

    Access and download statistics

    Corrections

    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:ays:ispwps:paper1105. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Paul Benson). General contact details of provider: http://aysps.gsu.edu/isp/index.html .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If CitEc recognized a reference but did not link an item in RePEc to it, you can help with this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.