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

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  • Matthias Wrede

Abstract

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.

Suggested Citation

  • Matthias Wrede, 2003. "Tax Deductibility of Commuting Expenses and Residential Land Use with more than one Center," CESifo Working Paper Series 972, CESifo Group Munich.
  • Handle: RePEc:ces:ceswps:_972
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    File URL: http://www.cesifo-group.de/DocDL/cesifo_wp972.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Wrede, Matthias, 2001. "Should Commuting Expenses Be Tax Deductible? A Welfare Analysis," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 49(1), pages 80-99, January.
    2. 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.
    3. Edward Calthrop, 2001. "On Subsidising Auto-Commuting," CESifo Working Paper Series 566, CESifo Group Munich.
    4. 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 216-216, March.
    5. 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.
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    Cited by:

    1. Borck, Rainald & Wrede, Matthias, 2005. "Political economy of commuting subsidies," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 57(3), pages 478-499, May.
    2. Heuermann, Daniel F. & Assmann, Franziska & vom Berge, Philipp & Freund, Florian, 2017. "The distributional effect of commuting subsidies - Evidence from geo-referenced data and a large-scale policy reform," Regional Science and Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 67(C), pages 11-24.
    3. Johannes Bröcker & Jean Mercenier, 2011. "General Equilibrium Models for Transportation Economics," Chapters,in: A Handbook of Transport Economics, chapter 2 Edward Elgar Publishing.
    4. Wolfram F. Richter & Peter Bareis & Matthias Wrede & Martin Gasche, 2004. "Ist die Abschaffung der Entfernungspauschale ökonomisch sinnvoll?," ifo Schnelldienst, ifo Institute - Leibniz Institute for Economic Research at the University of Munich, vol. 57(05), pages 5-19, March.
    5. Santos, Georgina & Behrendt, Hannah & Maconi, Laura & Shirvani, Tara & Teytelboym, Alexander, 2010. "Part I: Externalities and economic policies in road transport," Research in Transportation Economics, Elsevier, vol. 28(1), pages 2-45.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Income tax; relief; residential land use; labor mobility; commuting expenses; optimum taxation;

    JEL classification:

    • H21 - Public Economics - - Taxation, Subsidies, and Revenue - - - Efficiency; Optimal Taxation
    • J61 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Mobility, Unemployment, Vacancies, and Immigrant Workers - - - Geographic Labor Mobility; Immigrant Workers
    • R13 - Urban, Rural, Regional, Real Estate, and Transportation Economics - - General Regional Economics - - - General Equilibrium and Welfare Economic Analysis of Regional Economies

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