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Toward an Efficiency Rationale for the Public Provision of Private Goods

  • Hanming Fang
  • Peter Norman

This paper shows that public provision of private goods may be justified on pure efficiency grounds in an environment where individuals consume both public and private goods. The government's involvement in the provision of private goods provides it with information about individuals' private good purchases that facilitates more efficient revenue extraction for the provision of public goods. We show that public provision of the private good improves economic efficiency under a condition that is always fulfilled under stochastic independence and satisfied for an open set of joint distributions. Our model is an example where there is efficiency loss from separating revenue and expenditure problems in public finance, and is therefore of more general interest for the study of optimal taxation.

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File URL: http://www.nber.org/papers/w13827.pdf
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Paper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 13827.

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Date of creation: Feb 2008
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Publication status: published as Toward an Efficiency Rationale for the Public Provision of Private Goods (with Peter Norman), This Version, June 2012, forthcoming, Economic Theory.
Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:13827
Note: PE
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  1. Bergstrom, Ted & Blomquist, Soren, 1996. "The political economy of subsidized day care," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 12(3), pages 443-457, November.
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  7. BOADWAY, Robin & MARCHAND, Maurice & SATO, Motohiro, 1997. "Subsidies versus public provision of private goods as instruments for redistibution," CORE Discussion Papers 1997071, Université catholique de Louvain, Center for Operations Research and Econometrics (CORE).
  8. Cremer, Helmuth & Gahvari, Firouz, 1997. "In-kind transfers, self-selection and optimal tax policy," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 41(1), pages 97-114, January.
  9. Schmitz, Patrick W., 1997. "Monopolistic Provision of Excludable Public Goods under Private Information," MPRA Paper 6549, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  10. Fernandez, Raquel & Rogerson, Richard, 1995. "On the Political Economy of Education Subsidies," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 62(2), pages 249-62, April.
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  12. Mailath, George J & Postlewaite, Andrew, 1990. "Asymmetric Information Bargaining Problems with Many Agents," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 57(3), pages 351-67, July.
  13. Neil Bruce & Michael Waldman, 1988. "Transfers in Kind: Why They Can Be Efficient and Non-Paternalistic," UCLA Economics Working Papers 532, UCLA Department of Economics.
  14. S�ren Blomquist & Vidar Christiansen & Luca Micheletto, 2010. "Public Provision of Private Goods and Nondistortionary Marginal Tax Rates," American Economic Journal: Economic Policy, American Economic Association, vol. 2(2), pages 1-27, May.
  15. Tilman Börgers & Peter Norman, 2009. "A note on budget balance under interim participation constraints: the case of independent types," Economic Theory, Springer, vol. 39(3), pages 477-489, June.
  16. Adams, William James & Yellen, Janet L, 1976. "Commodity Bundling and the Burden of Monopoly," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 90(3), pages 475-98, August.
  17. Martin F. Hellwig, 2003. "Public-Good Provision with Many Participants," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 70(3), pages 589-614.
  18. Blomquist, Suren & Christiansen, Vidar, 1995. " Public Provision of Private Goods as a Redistributive Device in an Optimum Income Tax Model," Scandinavian Journal of Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 97(4), pages 547-67, December.
  19. Hanming Fang & Peter Norman, 2008. "Optimal Provision of Multiple Excludable Public Goods," NBER Working Papers 13797, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  20. Garratt, Rod & Marshall, John M, 1994. "Public Finance of Private Goods: The Case of College Education," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 102(3), pages 566-82, June.
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  22. Blackorby, Charles & Donaldson, David, 1988. "Cash versus Kind, Self-selection, and Efficient Transfers," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 78(4), pages 691-700, September.
  23. Schmitz, Patrick W, 1997. "Monopolistic Provision of Excludable Public Goods under Private Information," Public Finance = Finances publiques, , vol. 52(1), pages 89-101.
  24. Norman,P., 2000. "Efficient mechanisms for public goods with use exclusions," Working papers 15, Wisconsin Madison - Social Systems.
  25. Firouz Gahvari & Enlinson Mattos, 2007. "Conditional Cash Transfers, Public Provision of Private Goods, and Income Redistribution," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 97(1), pages 491-502, March.
  26. Nichols, Albert L & Zeckhauser, Richard J, 1982. "Targeting Transfers through Restrictions on Recipients," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 72(2), pages 372-77, May.
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