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Tax Deductibility of Commuting Expenses and Residential Land Use with more than one Center

  • Matthias Wrede

This paper analyzes the treatment of commuting expenses by the income tax code from a normative and a positive point of view within a continuous space framework with endogenous residence choices and perfect labor mobility. As commuting expenses should never be deductible from the income tax base in a first-best world, deductibility might well be the outcome of a second-best-optimum-tax approach provided that not all factors of production were mobile. Non-deductibility might be justified by a lack of instruments to internalize environmental and congestion externalities or by perfect mobility of all production factors. However, the existence of deductions in many coun-tries can be easily explained within a public choice framework by redistribution from non-commuters to commuters.

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File URL: http://www.cesifo-group.de/portal/page/portal/DocBase_Content/WP/WP-CESifo_Working_Papers/wp-cesifo-2003/wp-cesifo-2003-06/cesifo_wp972.pdf
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Paper provided by CESifo Group Munich in its series CESifo Working Paper Series with number 972.

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Date of creation: 2003
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Handle: RePEc:ces:ceswps:_972
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  1. Wildasin, David E., 1986. "Spatial variation of the marginal utility of income and unequal treatment of equals," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 19(1), pages 125-129, January.
  2. Edward Calthrop, 2001. "On Subsidising Auto-Commuting," CESifo Working Paper Series 566, CESifo Group Munich.
  3. Wrede, Matthias, 2001. "Should Commuting Expenses Be Tax Deductible? A Welfare Analysis," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 49(1), pages 80-99, January.
  4. Ngee-Choon Chia & Albert K C Tsui & John Whalley, 2001. "Ownership and Use Taxes as Congestion Correcting Instruments," NBER Working Papers 8278, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  5. Matthias Wrede, 2000. "Tax Deductibility of Commuting Expenses and Leisures: On the Tax Treatment of Time-Saving Expenditure," FinanzArchiv: Public Finance Analysis, Mohr Siebeck, Tübingen, vol. 57(2), pages 216-, March.
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