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

  • Spencer Bastani
  • Sören Blomquist
  • Luca Micheletto

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.

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Paper provided by CESifo Group Munich in its series CESifo Working Paper Series with number 3275.

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Date of creation: 2010
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Handle: RePEc:ces:ceswps:_3275
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  2. BOADWAY, Robin & PESTIEAU, Pierre, . "Tagging and redistributive taxation," CORE Discussion Papers RP -1932, Université catholique de Louvain, Center for Operations Research and Econometrics (CORE).
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  6. Blomquist, Suren & Christiansen, Vidar, 1995. " Public Provision of Private Goods as a Redistributive Device in an Optimum Income Tax Model," Scandinavian Journal of Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 97(4), pages 547-67, December.
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  8. Louis Kaplow, 2008. "Optimal Policy with Heterogeneous Preferences," NBER Working Papers 14170, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  9. Pirttila, Jukka & Tuomala, Matti, 2002. " Publicly Provided Private Goods and Redistribution: A General Equilibrium Analysis," Scandinavian Journal of Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 104(1), pages 173-88.
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  14. Stern, Nicholas, 1982. "Optimum taxation with errors in administration," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 17(2), pages 181-211, March.
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  16. Tarkiainen, Ritva & Tuomala, Matti, 1999. "Optimal Nonlinear Income Taxation with a Two-Dimensional Population; A Computational Approach," Computational Economics, Society for Computational Economics, vol. 13(1), pages 1-16, February.
  17. Alessandro Balestrino, 2000. "Mixed Tax Systems and the Public Provision of Private Goods," International Tax and Public Finance, Springer, vol. 7(4), pages 463-478, August.
  18. Matti Tuomala, 2010. "On optimal non-linear income taxation: numerical results revisited," International Tax and Public Finance, Springer, vol. 17(3), pages 259-270, June.
  19. Luca Micheletto, 2004. "Optimal Redistributive Policy with Endogenous Wages," FinanzArchiv: Public Finance Analysis, Mohr Siebeck, Tübingen, vol. 60(2), pages 141-, August.
  20. Slemrod, Joel & Yitzhaki, Shlomo & Mayshar, Joram & Lundholm, Michael, 1994. "The optimal two-bracket linear income tax," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 53(2), pages 269-290, February.
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  23. Helmuth Cremer & Firouz Gahvari & Jean-Marie Lozachmeur, 2010. "Tagging and Income Taxation: Theory and an Application," American Economic Journal: Economic Policy, American Economic Association, vol. 2(1), pages 31-50, February.
  24. 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.
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