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Are User Fees Really Regressive?

  • George Economides
  • Apostolis Philippopoulos

This paper studies the aggregate and distributional implications of introducing user fees for publicly provided excludable public goods into a model with consumption and income taxes. The setup is a neoclassical growth model where agents differ in earnings and second-best policy is chosen by a Ramsey government. Our main result is that the adoption of user fees by the Ramsey government not only increases aggregate efficiency, but it also decreases inequality. This result is in contrast to common view and policy practice.

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File URL: http://www.cesifo-group.de/portal/page/portal/DocBase_Content/WP/WP-CESifo_Working_Papers/wp-cesifo-2012/wp-cesifo-2012-07/cesifo1_wp3875.pdf
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Paper provided by CESifo Group Munich in its series CESifo Working Paper Series with number 3875.

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Date of creation: 2012
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Handle: RePEc:ces:ceswps:_3875
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  1. Hillman,Arye L., 2009. "Public Finance and Public Policy," Cambridge Books, Cambridge University Press, number 9780521738057, Junio.
  2. Paul J. Gertler & Luis Locay & Warren C. Sanderson, 1987. "Are User Fees Regressive? The Welfare Implications of Health Care Financing Proposals in Peru," NBER Working Papers 2299, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  3. Krusell, Per, 2002. "Time-consistent redistribution," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 46(4-5), pages 755-769, May.
  4. Bernd Huber & Marco Runkel, 2009. "Tax competition, excludable public goods, and user charges," International Tax and Public Finance, Springer;International Institute of Public Finance, vol. 16(3), pages 321-336, June.
  5. N. Gregory Mankiw & Matthew C. Weinzierl & Danny Yagan, 2009. "Optimal Taxation in Theory and Practice," Harvard Business School Working Papers 09-140, Harvard Business School.
  6. Konstantinos Angelopoulos & James Malley & Apostolis Philippopoulos, 2011. "Time-consistent fiscal policy under heterogeneity: conflicting or common interests?," Working Papers 142, Bank of Greece.
  7. George Economides & Apostolis Philippopoulos, 2008. "Growth enhancing policy is the means to sustain the environment," Review of Economic Dynamics, Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics, vol. 11(1), pages 207-219, January.
  8. Park, Hyun & Philippopoulos, Apostolis, 2003. "On the dynamics of growth and fiscal policy with redistributive transfers," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 87(3-4), pages 515-538, March.
  9. Ott Ingrid & Stephen Turnovsky, 2005. "Excludable and Non-excludable Public Inputs: Consequences for Economic Growth," Working Papers UWEC-2006-02-P, University of Washington, Department of Economics, revised Jun 2005.
  10. Kenneth L. Judd, 1982. "Redistributive Taxation in a Simple Perfect Foresight Model," Discussion Papers 572, Northwestern University, Center for Mathematical Studies in Economics and Management Science.
  11. Lansing, Kevin J., 1999. "Optimal redistributive capital taxation in a neoclassical growth model," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 73(3), pages 423-453, September.
  12. Jang-Ting Guo & Kevin J. Lansing, 1998. "Optimal taxation of capital income with imperfectly competitive product markets," Working Papers in Applied Economic Theory 98-04, Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco.
  13. Chamley, Christophe, 1986. "Optimal Taxation of Capital Income in General Equilibrium with Infinite Lives," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 54(3), pages 607-22, May.
  14. Isabel Horta Correia, 2005. "Consumption Taxes and Redistribution," Working Papers w200511, Banco de Portugal, Economics and Research Department.
  15. Kurtis J. Swope & Eckhard Janeba, 2001. "Taxes or Fees? The Political Economy of Providing Excludable Public Goods," CESifo Working Paper Series 542, CESifo Group Munich.
  16. Fuest, Clemens & Kolmar, Martin, 2007. "A theory of user-fee competition," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 91(3-4), pages 497-509, April.
  17. Fraser, Clive D., 1996. "On the provision of excludable public goods," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 60(1), pages 111-130, April.
  18. Lars Ljungqvist & Thomas J. Sargent, 2004. "Recursive Macroeconomic Theory, 2nd Edition," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 2, volume 1, number 026212274x, March.
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