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Social Welfare and Collective Goods Coercion in Public Economics

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Abstract

This paper develops and expanded framework for social planning in which coercion stemming from the provision of public goods is explicitly acknowledged. Key issues concern the precise definition of coercion, its difference from redistribtion, and its incorporation into social welfare optimization. The paper examines the implications for optimal policy, showing how the Samuelson condition, rules for optimal linear income taxation and commodity taxation, and for the marginal cost of public funds must be modified. In addition, the trade-off between social welface and coercion is mapped under specific conditions and the implications of this trade-off for normative policy choice are considered.

Suggested Citation

  • Stanley L. Winer & George Tridimas & Walter Hettich, 2007. "Social Welfare and Collective Goods Coercion in Public Economics," Carleton Economic Papers 07-03, Carleton University, Department of Economics.
  • Handle: RePEc:car:carecp:07-03
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Charles M. Tiebout, 1956. "A Pure Theory of Local Expenditures," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 64, pages 416-416.
    2. Hettich, Walter & Winer, Stanley L, 1988. "Economic and Political Foundations of Tax Structure," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 78(4), pages 701-712, September.
    3. J. A. Mirrlees, 1971. "An Exploration in the Theory of Optimum Income Taxation," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 38(2), pages 175-208.
    4. Boadway, Robin & Marchand, Maurice, 1995. "The Use of Public Expenditures for Redistributive Purposes," Oxford Economic Papers, Oxford University Press, vol. 47(1), pages 45-59, January.
    5. Thomas Dalton, 1977. "Citizen ignorance and political activity," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 32(1), pages 85-99, December.
    6. Weingast, Barry R. & Wittman, Donald, 2008. "The Oxford Handbook of Political Economy," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, number 9780199548477.
    7. Jack Wiseman, 1989. "Cost, Choice and Political Economy," Books, Edward Elgar Publishing, number 472.
    8. Alm, James & McClelland, Gary H. & Schulze, William D., 1992. "Why do people pay taxes?," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 48(1), pages 21-38, June.
    9. Hettich,Walter & Winer,Stanley L., 2005. "Democratic Choice and Taxation," Cambridge Books, Cambridge University Press, number 9780521021807, May.
    10. Wilson, John Douglas, 1999. "Theories of Tax Competition," National Tax Journal, National Tax Association, vol. 52(2), pages 269-304, June.
    11. Galeotti, Gianluigi & Breton, Albert, 1986. "An Economic Theory of Political Parties," Kyklos, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 39(1), pages 47-65.
    12. Boadway, R. & Marchand, M., 1990. "The use of public expenditures for distributive purposes," CORE Discussion Papers 1990066, Université catholique de Louvain, Center for Operations Research and Econometrics (CORE).
    13. Mueller,Dennis C., 2003. "Public Choice III," Cambridge Books, Cambridge University Press, number 9780521894753, May.
    14. Perroni, Carlo & Scharf, Kimberley, 2003. "Viable Tax Constitutions," The Warwick Economics Research Paper Series (TWERPS) 683, University of Warwick, Department of Economics.
    15. Wilson, John Douglas, 1999. "Theories of Tax Competition," National Tax Journal, National Tax Association, vol. 52(n. 2), pages 269-304, June.
    16. Sandmo, Agnar, 1998. "Redistribution and the marginal cost of public funds," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 70(3), pages 365-382, December.
    17. Gary S. Becker, 1983. "A Theory of Competition Among Pressure Groups for Political Influence," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 98(3), pages 371-400.
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Coercion; optimal linear income taxation; optimal commodity taxation; marginal cost of public funds; public goods; collective choice;

    JEL classification:

    • D70 - Microeconomics - - Analysis of Collective Decision-Making - - - General
    • H10 - Public Economics - - Structure and Scope of Government - - - General
    • H20 - Public Economics - - Taxation, Subsidies, and Revenue - - - General
    • H21 - Public Economics - - Taxation, Subsidies, and Revenue - - - Efficiency; Optimal Taxation

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