The Role of Prices on Excludable Public Goods
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.
|Date of creation:||15 Aug 2001|
|Date of revision:|
|Publication status:||Published in International Tax and Public Finance, 2005, pages 61-79.|
|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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Working Paper Series
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