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Can Labor Market Imperfections Cause Overprovision of Public Inputs?


  • Martinez, Diego

    () (Department of Economics, University Pablo de Olavide)

  • Sjögren, Tomas

    () (Department of Economics, Umeå School of Business and Economics, Umeå University)


This paper concerns provision of productive public inputs in the presence of unemployment. It is shown that if the government is able to implement optimal taxes on labor income and profit income, respectively, then the public input will be underprovided. On the other hand, if the government is not able to implement an optimal tax on labor income, e.g. because the labor income tax is determined at another level in the public sector (e.g. the municipal or the state level), then overprovision may occur. We derive an equation which links overprovision of the public input to (i) the employment rate and to (ii) the deviation of the actual labor income tax from the optimal level.

Suggested Citation

  • Martinez, Diego & Sjögren, Tomas, 2013. "Can Labor Market Imperfections Cause Overprovision of Public Inputs?," Umeå Economic Studies 858, Umeå University, Department of Economics.
  • Handle: RePEc:hhs:umnees:0858

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Ming Chang, 2000. "Rules and Levels in the Provision of Public Goods: The Role of Complementarities between the public Good and Taxed Commodities," International Tax and Public Finance, Springer;International Institute of Public Finance, vol. 7(1), pages 83-91, February.
    2. Bovenberg, A. Lans & van der Ploeg, Frederick, 1996. "Optimal taxation, public goods and environmental policy with involuntary unemployment," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 62(1-2), pages 59-83, October.
    3. Wilson, John Douglas, 1991. "Optimal Public Good Provision with Limited Lump-Sum Taxation," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 81(1), pages 153-166, March.
    4. Aronsson, Thomas & Wehke, Sven, 2008. "Public goods, unemployment and policy coordination," Regional Science and Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 38(3), pages 285-298, May.
    5. Thomas Aronsson & Erkki Koskela, 2008. "Optimal Redistributive Taxation and Provision of Public Input Goods in an Economy with Outsourcing and Unemployment," CESifo Working Paper Series 2481, CESifo Group Munich.
    6. Diego Martinez Lopez & A. Jesus Sanchez Fuentes, 2006. "On the optimal level of public inputs," Working Papers 06.34, Universidad Pablo de Olavide, Department of Economics, revised Mar 2008.
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    Cited by:

    1. Diego Martinez-Lopez & Tomas Sjöngren, 2014. "Vertical externalities with lump-sum taxes: how much difference does unemployment make?," European Journal of Government and Economics, Europa Grande, vol. 3(1), pages 75-87, June.

    More about this item


    Public Inputs; Trade Unions;

    JEL classification:

    • H41 - Public Economics - - Publicly Provided Goods - - - Public Goods
    • J51 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Labor-Management Relations, Trade Unions, and Collective Bargaining - - - Trade Unions: Objectives, Structure, and Effects

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