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The Role of Prices on Excludable Public Goods

  • Blomquist, Sören

    ()

    (Department of Economics)

  • Christiansen, Vidar

    ()

    (Department of Economics)

When a public good is excludable it is possible to charge individuals for using the good. We study the role of prices on excludable public goods within an extension of the Stern-Stiglitz version of the Mirrlees optimal income tax model. Our discussion includes both the case where the public good is a final consumer good and the case where it is an intermediate good. We demonstrate that for a public consumer good charging a positive price may be desirable, but only under certain conditions. However, charging a lower than optimal price may be less efficient than setting a zero price. Conditions are identified under which consumers should be rationed in their demand rather than adjusting demand to price. We also conclude that producers using an intermediate public good as an input should not be charged a positive price.

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Paper provided by Uppsala University, Department of Economics in its series Working Paper Series with number 2001:14.

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Length: 24 pages
Date of creation: 15 Aug 2001
Date of revision:
Publication status: Published in International Tax and Public Finance, 2005, pages 61-79.
Handle: RePEc:hhs:uunewp:2001_014
Contact details of provider: Postal: Department of Economics, Uppsala University, P. O. Box 513, SE-751 20 Uppsala, Sweden
Phone: + 46 18 471 25 00
Fax: + 46 18 471 14 78
Web page: http://www.nek.uu.se/
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  1. Brito, Dagobert L & Oakland, William H, 1980. "On the Monopolistic Provision of Excludable Public Goods," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 70(4), pages 691-704, September.
  2. Boadway, Robin & Keen, Michael, 1993. "Public Goods, Self-Selection and Optimal Income Taxation," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 34(3), pages 463-78, August.
  3. Stern, Nicholas, 1982. "Optimum taxation with errors in administration," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 17(2), pages 181-211, March.
  4. Christiansen, Vidar, 1984. "Which commodity taxes should supplement the income tax?," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 24(2), pages 195-220, July.
  5. Mirrlees, James A, 1971. "An Exploration in the Theory of Optimum Income Taxation," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 38(114), pages 175-208, April.
  6. Fraser, Clive D., 1996. "On the provision of excludable public goods," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 60(1), pages 111-130, April.
  7. Sören Blomquist & Vidar Christiansen, 2005. "The Role of Prices for Excludable Public Goods," International Tax and Public Finance, Springer, vol. 12(1), pages 61-79, January.
  8. Sören Blomquist & Vidar Christiansen, 2001. "The Role of Prices on Excludable Public Goods," CESifo Working Paper Series 536, CESifo Group Munich.
  9. Joseph E. Stiglitz, 1981. "Self-Selection and Pareto Efficient Taxation," NBER Working Papers 0632, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  10. Burns, Michael E & Walsh, Cliff, 1981. "Market Provision of Price-excludable Public Goods: A General Analysis," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 89(1), pages 166-91, February.
  11. Oakland, William H, 1974. "Public Goods, Perfect Competition, and Underproduction," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 82(5), pages 927-39, Sept./Oct.
  12. Eskeland, Gunnar S., 2000. "Environmental protection and optimal taxation," Policy Research Working Paper Series 2510, The World Bank.
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