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Optimal Taxation of Intermediate Goods in the Presence of Externalities: A Survey Towards the Transport Sector




The paper surveys the literature on optimal taxation with emphasis on intermediate goods, or, more specific, freight (road) transport. There are two models frequently used, first, the one emanated from Diamond & Mirrlees' (1971) paper, where the production efficiency lemma made it clear that intermediate goods was not to be taxed. And, second, the Ramsey-Boiteux model where a cost-of-service regulation imposes a budget constraint for the regulated firm. In the latter model, in contrast to the first, freight transports (intermediate goods) are to be taxed in the Ramsey tradition, and thus trades the production efficiency lemma against a budget restriction. The paper also discusses welfare effects due to environmental tax reforms, with emphasis to what has become to known as the double dividend hypothesis. Finally, administrative costs in the context of optimal taxation is touched upon, a subject that is to a large degree repressed in optimal tax theory.

Suggested Citation

  • Ahlberg, Joakim, 2006. "Optimal Taxation of Intermediate Goods in the Presence of Externalities: A Survey Towards the Transport Sector," Working Papers 2006:3, Swedish National Road & Transport Research Institute (VTI).
  • Handle: RePEc:hhs:vtiwps:2006_003

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    1. Bovenberg, A. L. & van der Ploeg, F., 1994. "Environmental policy, public finance and the labour market in a second-best world," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 55(3), pages 349-390, November.
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    7. Edward Calthrop & Bruno De Borger & Stef Proost, 2003. "Tax reform for dirty intermediate goods: theory and an application to the taxation of freight transport," Energy, Transport and Environment Working Papers Series ete0302, KU Leuven, Department of Economics - Research Group Energy, Transport and Environment.
    8. Bovenberg, A.L. & Goulder, L.H., 1996. "Optimal environmental taxation in the presence of other taxes : General equilibrium analyses," Other publications TiSEM 5d4b7517-c5c8-4ef6-ab76-3, Tilburg University, School of Economics and Management.
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    More about this item


    Optimal Taxation; Intermediate Goods; Transport; Welfare Effects; Environmental Tax; Administrative Costs;

    JEL classification:

    • H21 - Public Economics - - Taxation, Subsidies, and Revenue - - - Efficiency; Optimal Taxation
    • H23 - Public Economics - - Taxation, Subsidies, and Revenue - - - Externalities; Redistributive Effects; Environmental Taxes and Subsidies

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