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Optimal tax mix with merit goods

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  • DEL MAR RACIONERO, Maria

Abstract

This paper deals with optimal taxation in a two-class economy with two private commodities and labour. We derive optimal nonlinear income and linear commodity taxes in the presence of merit goods. We formulate merit good arguments via a pathology of individual choice. We assume weak separability between consumption and leisure and show that the standard optimal tax results are modified due to merit good considerations. We first find a subsidy on the merit good. Secondly, optimal income marginal tax rates are also shown to dioeer from the standard literature: it is positive on high-ability individuals and on low-ability individuals it is ambiguous because of a dampening eoeect due to merit good considerations. Finally, we derive the effective marginal tax rates
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Suggested Citation

  • DEL MAR RACIONERO, Maria, 2001. "Optimal tax mix with merit goods," CORE Discussion Papers RP 1530, Université catholique de Louvain, Center for Operations Research and Econometrics (CORE).
  • Handle: RePEc:cor:louvrp:1530
    Note: In : Oxford Economic Papers, 53, 628-641, 2001
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Pazner, Elisha A, 1972. "Merit Wants and the Theory of Taxation," Public Finance = Finances publiques, , vol. 27(4), pages 460-472.
    2. Mirrlees, J. A., 1976. "Optimal tax theory : A synthesis," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 6(4), pages 327-358, November.
    3. Christiansen, Vidar, 1984. "Which commodity taxes should supplement the income tax?," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 24(2), pages 195-220, July.
    4. Neary, J. P. & Roberts, K. W. S., 1980. "The theory of household behaviour under rationing," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 13(1), pages 25-42, January.
    5. Tuomala, Matti, 1990. "Optimal Income Tax and Redistribution," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, number 9780198286059.
    6. Besley, Timothy, 1988. "A simple model for merit good arguments," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 35(3), pages 371-383, April.
    7. Atkinson, A. B. & Stiglitz, J. E., 1976. "The design of tax structure: Direct versus indirect taxation," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 6(1-2), pages 55-75.
    8. Sandmo, Agnar, 1983. "Ex Post Welfare Economics and the Theory of Merit Goods," Economica, London School of Economics and Political Science, vol. 50(197), pages 19-33, February.
    9. Mirrless, J. A., 1975. "Optimal commodity taxation in a two-class economy," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 4(1), pages 27-33, February.
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    Cited by:

    1. Ravi Kanbur & Jukka Pirttilä & Matti Tuomala, 2006. "Non-Welfarist Optimal Taxation And Behavioural Public Economics," Journal of Economic Surveys, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 20(5), pages 849-868, December.
    2. Sören Blomquist & Luca Micheletto, 2005. "Optimal Redistributive Taxation when Government’s and Agents’ Preferences Differ," CESifo Working Paper Series 1429, CESifo Group Munich.
    3. Elodie Brahic & Valérie Clément & Nathalie Moureau & Marion Vidal, 2008. "A la recherche des Merit Goods," Working Papers 08-08, LAMETA, Universtiy of Montpellier, revised Jun 2008.
    4. B. Defloor, 2010. "Marginal Cost of Indirect Taxation in the presence of a Demerit Externality with an Application to Carbon Dioxide Emissions in Belgium," Working Papers of Faculty of Economics and Business Administration, Ghent University, Belgium 10/656, Ghent University, Faculty of Economics and Business Administration.
    5. Kaisa Kotakorpi, 2009. "Paternalism and Tax Competition," Scandinavian Journal of Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 111(1), pages 125-149, March.
    6. Blomquist, Soren & Micheletto, Luca, 2006. "Optimal redistributive taxation when government's and agents' preferences differ," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 90(6-7), pages 1215-1233, August.
    7. Jukka Pirttilä & Sanna Tenhunen, 2008. "Pawns and queens revisited: public provision of private goods when individuals make mistakes," International Tax and Public Finance, Springer;International Institute of Public Finance, vol. 15(5), pages 599-619, October.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • H21 - Public Economics - - Taxation, Subsidies, and Revenue - - - Efficiency; Optimal Taxation
    • H41 - Public Economics - - Publicly Provided Goods - - - Public Goods

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