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How Big Should Government Be?

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  • Feldstein, Martin

Abstract

Suggests that the deadweight burden caused by a tax rate increase depends not only on labor force participation response but also on other dimensions of labor supply (the forms in which compensation is paid; the forms of tax-favored consumption; and intertemporal allocation of consumption.) Recent econometric work implies that the deadweight burden caused by incremental taxation (the marginal excess burden) may exceed one dollar per dollar of revenue raised, making the cost of incremental government spending more than two dollars for each dollar of government spending.

Suggested Citation

  • Feldstein, Martin, 1997. "How Big Should Government Be?," Scholarly Articles 3043427, Harvard University Department of Economics.
  • Handle: RePEc:hrv:faseco:3043427
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    Cited by:

    1. Slemrod, Joel & Yitzhaki, Shlomo, 2001. "Integrating Expenditure and Tax Decisions: The Marginal Cost of Funds and the Marginal Benefit of Projects," National Tax Journal, National Tax Association, vol. 54(2), pages 189-202, June.
    2. Michael Spackman, 2013. "Government Time Discounting and Required Rates of Return: UK History and Current Issues," Economic Affairs, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 33(2), pages 190-206, June.
    3. Richard M. bird, 2003. "Taxation in Latin America: Reflections on Sustainability and the Balance between Equity and Efficiency," International Tax Program Papers 0306, International Tax Program, Institute for International Business, Joseph L. Rotman School of Management, University of Toronto.
    4. Parry, Ian W. H. & Bento, Antonio M., 2000. "Tax Deductions, Environmental Policy, and the "Double Dividend" Hypothesis," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 39(1), pages 67-96, January.
    5. Slemrod, Joel, 1998. "Methodological Issues in Measuring and Interpreting Taxable Income Elasticities," National Tax Journal, National Tax Association, vol. 51(n. 4), pages 773-88, December.
    6. Mario Mariniello, 2013. "Should Variable Cost Aid to Attract Foreign Direct Investment be Banned? A European Perspective," Journal of Industry, Competition and Trade, Springer, vol. 13(2), pages 273-308, June.
    7. Frits Bos & Thomas van der Pol & Gerbert Romijn, 2018. "Should CBA’s include a correction for the marginal excess burden of taxation?," CPB Discussion Paper 370, CPB Netherlands Bureau for Economic Policy Analysis.
    8. Aidan R. Vining & David L. Weimer, 2013. "An assessment of important issues concerning the application of benefit–cost analysis to social policy," Chapters,in: Principles and Standards for Benefit–Cost Analysis, chapter 1, pages 25-62 Edward Elgar Publishing.
    9. Mickaël Beaud & Thierry Blayac & Patrice Bougette & Soufiane Khoudmi & Philippe Mahenc & Stéphane Mussard, 2013. "Estimation du coût d'opportunité des fonds publics pour l'économie française," Working Papers halshs-01077141, HAL.
    10. Ming Chung Chang & Shufen Wu, 2011. "Should Marginal Cost of Public Funds include the Revenue Effect?," Swiss Journal of Economics and Statistics (SJES), Swiss Society of Economics and Statistics (SSES), vol. 147(I), pages 1-16, March.
    11. Salvador Barrios & Jonathan Pycroft & Bert Saveyn, 2013. "The marginal cost of public funds in the EU: the case of labour versus green taxes," Taxation Papers 35, Directorate General Taxation and Customs Union, European Commission.
    12. Massimo Florio & Sara Colautti, 2005. "A logistic growth theory of public expenditures: A study of five countries over 100 years," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 122(3), pages 355-393, March.
    13. Thomas Gaube, 2005. "Public Investment and Income Taxation: Redistribution vs. Productive Performance," Journal of Economics, Springer, vol. 86(1), pages 1-18, October.
    14. Wendner, Ronald & Goulder, Lawrence H., 2008. "Status Effects, Public Goods Provision, and the Excess Burden," MPRA Paper 8260, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    15. European Commission, 2012. "Tax reforms in EU Member States - Tax policy challenges for economic growth and fiscal sustainability – 2012 Report," Taxation Papers 34, Directorate General Taxation and Customs Union, European Commission.
    16. Jan Pavel & Leoš Vítek, 2015. "Vyvolané náklady daňového systému v ČR
      [Compliance Costs of the Czech Tax System]
      ," Politická ekonomie, University of Economics, Prague, vol. 2015(3), pages 317-330.
    17. Will Martin & James E. Anderson, 2005. "Costs of Taxation and the Benefits of Public Goods: The Role of Income Effects," Boston College Working Papers in Economics 617, Boston College Department of Economics.
    18. Hoel, Michael, 2008. "Environmental Taxes in an Economy with Distorting Taxes and a Heterogeneous Population," Memorandum 04/2008, Oslo University, Department of Economics.
    19. Parry, Ian, 2000. "Comparing the Marginal Excess Burden of Labor, Gasoline, Cigarette and Alcohol Taxes: An Application to the United Kingdom," Discussion Papers dp-00-33-rev, Resources For the Future.
    20. Massimo Florio & Sara Colautti, 2001. "A logistic growth law for government expenditures: an explanatory analysis," Departmental Working Papers 2001-13, Department of Economics, Management and Quantitative Methods at Università degli Studi di Milano.
    21. Santos, Marcelo Rodrigues dos & Pereira, Thiago Neves, 2010. "Moving to a Consumption-Based Tax System: A Quantitative Assessment for Brazil," Revista Brasileira de Economia - RBE, FGV/EPGE - Escola Brasileira de Economia e Finanças, Getulio Vargas Foundation (Brazil), vol. 64(2), June.
    22. Slemrod, Joel, 1998. "Methodological Issues in Measuring and Interpreting Taxable Income Elasticities," National Tax Journal, National Tax Association, vol. 51(4), pages 773-788, December.
    23. Michael Spackman, 2017. "Social discounting: the SOC/STP divide," GRI Working Papers 182, Grantham Research Institute on Climate Change and the Environment.

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