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Public Provision, Commodity Demand and Hours of Work: An Empirical Analysis

  • Jukka Pirttilä
  • Ilpo Suoniemi

Atkinson and Stiglitz (Journal of Public Economics 1976) show that when the government has access to non-linear income taxation and consumer preferences are separable between consumption and leisure, there is no need for differentiated commodity taxation. This paper examines the empirical validity of this claim using consumption data from Finland. The data have extensive information on commodity demand, the use of public services and hours of work. When labour income is controlled for in a semi-parametric way, we find that capital income and housing expenses are negatively associated with hours of work, whereas the use of child care is somewhat positively correlated with labour supply. These results suggest that capital income and housing should be taxed whereas day care could perhaps be subsidised.

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Paper provided by CESifo Group Munich in its series CESifo Working Paper Series with number 3000.

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Date of creation: 2010
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Handle: RePEc:ces:ceswps:_3000
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  1. Gordon, Roger H. & Kopczuk, Wojciech, 2014. "The choice of the personal income tax base," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 118(C), pages 97-110.
  2. Emmanuel Saez, 2000. "The Desirability of Commodity Taxation under Non-Linear Income Taxation and Heterogeneous Tastes," NBER Working Papers 8029, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  3. Bastani, Spencer & Blomquist, Sören & Micheletto, Luca, 2010. "Public Provision of Private Goods, Tagging and Optimal Income Taxation with Heterogeneity in Needs," Working Paper Series, Center for Fiscal Studies 2010:14, Uppsala University, Department of Economics.
  4. Blomquist, Sören & Christiansen, Vidar, 1997. "Price Subsidies versus Public Provision," Working Paper Series 1997:12, Uppsala University, Department of Economics.
  5. Christiansen, Vidar, 1984. "Which commodity taxes should supplement the income tax?," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 24(2), pages 195-220, July.
  6. Atkinson, A. B. & Stiglitz, J. E., 1976. "The design of tax structure: Direct versus indirect taxation," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 6(1-2), pages 55-75.
  7. Janet Currie & Firouz Gahvari, 2007. "Transfers in Cash and In Kind: Theory Meets the Data," NBER Working Papers 13557, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  8. Boadway, Robin & Keen, Michael, 1993. "Public Goods, Self-Selection and Optimal Income Taxation," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 34(3), pages 463-78, August.
  9. Boadway, R. & Marchand, M., . "The use of public expenditures for redistributive purposes," CORE Discussion Papers RP 1131, Université catholique de Louvain, Center for Operations Research and Econometrics (CORE).
  10. Mirrlees, J. A., 1976. "Optimal tax theory : A synthesis," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 6(4), pages 327-358, November.
  11. Sören Blomquist & Vidar Christiansen & Luca Micheletto, 2010. "Public Provision of Private Goods and Nondistortionary Marginal Tax Rates," American Economic Journal: Economic Policy, American Economic Association, vol. 2(2), pages 1-27, May.
  12. Qi Li & Jeffrey Scott Racine, 2006. "Nonparametric Econometrics: Theory and Practice," Economics Books, Princeton University Press, edition 1, number 8355.
  13. Cremer, Helmuth & Gahvari, Firouz, 1997. "In-kind transfers, self-selection and optimal tax policy," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 41(1), pages 97-114, January.
  14. Michael Lokshin, 2006. "Difference-based semiparametric estimation of partial linear regression models," Stata Journal, StataCorp LP, vol. 6(3), pages 377-383, September.
  15. Jukka Pirttilä & Matti Tuomala, 2001. "Publicly provided private goods and redistribution: A General equilibrium analysis," Working Papers 0103, University of Tampere, School of Management, Economics.
  16. Lundin, Daniela & Mörk, Eva & Öckert, Björn, 2008. "How far can reduced childcare prices push female labour supply?," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 15(4), pages 647-659, August.
  17. Vidar Christiansen, 1981. "Evaluation of Public Projects under Optimal Taxation," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 48(3), pages 447-457.
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