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Public Provision of Private Goods, Tagging and Optimal Income Taxation with Heterogeneity in Needs

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  • Spencer Bastani
  • Sören Blomquist
  • Luca Micheletto

Abstract

Previous literature has shown that public provision of private goods can be a welfare-enhancing device in second-best settings where governments pursue redistributive goals. However, three issues have so far been neglected. First, the case for supplementing an optimal nonlinear income tax with public provision of private goods has been made in models where agents differ only in terms of market ability. Second, the magnitude of the welfare gains achievable through public provision schemes has not been assessed. Third, the similarities/differences between public provision schemes and tagging schemes have not been thoroughly analyzed. Our purpose in this paper is therefore threefold: first, to extend previous contributions by incorporating in the theoretical analysis both heterogeneity in market ability and in the need for the publicly provided good; second, to perform numerical simulations to quantify the size of the potential welfare gains achievable by introducing a public provision scheme, and to characterize the conditions under which these welfare gains are sizeable; finally, to compare the welfare gains from public provision with the welfare gains from tagging.

Suggested Citation

  • Spencer Bastani & Sören Blomquist & Luca Micheletto, 2010. "Public Provision of Private Goods, Tagging and Optimal Income Taxation with Heterogeneity in Needs," CESifo Working Paper Series 3275, CESifo Group Munich.
  • Handle: RePEc:ces:ceswps:_3275
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Shun-ichiro Bessho & Masayoshi Hayashi, 2013. "Estimating the Social Marginal Cost of Public Funds," Public Finance Review, , vol. 41(3), pages 360-385, May.
    2. 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.
    3. Jukka Pirttilä & Ilpo Suoniemi, 2014. "Public Provision, Commodity Demand, and Hours of Work: An Empirical Analysis," Scandinavian Journal of Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 116(4), pages 1044-1067, October.
    4. Spencer Bastani, 2013. "Gender-based and couple-based taxation," International Tax and Public Finance, Springer;International Institute of Public Finance, vol. 20(4), pages 653-686, August.
    5. Spencer Bastani & Sören Blomquist & Jukka Pirttilä, 2015. "How should commodities be taxed? A counter-argument to the recommendation in the Mirrlees Review," Oxford Economic Papers, Oxford University Press, vol. 67(2), pages 455-478.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    optimal income taxation; in-kind transfers; tagging;

    JEL classification:

    • H21 - Public Economics - - Taxation, Subsidies, and Revenue - - - Efficiency; Optimal Taxation
    • H42 - Public Economics - - Publicly Provided Goods - - - Publicly Provided Private Goods

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