IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/p/nbr/nberwo/6260.html
   My bibliography  Save this paper

Taxation by Telecommunications Regulation

Author

Listed:
  • Jerry Hausman

Abstract

Telecommunications regulation in the U.S. is replete with a system of subsidies and taxes. Because of budgetary spending limits, Congress is unable to increase general taxes to pay for social programs and thus funds these programs from taxes on specific sectors of the economy. In this paper I consider the Congressional legislation which established a program so that all public schools and libraries in the U.S. will receive subsidized service to the Internet. The cost of the program is estimated to be $2.25 billion per year. Congress passed legislation that directed all users of interstate telephone service to pay for the program. Using analytical methods from public finance, I calculate the efficiency cost to the economy of the higher taxation of interstate telephone services to fund the Internet access discounts. I estimate the cost to the economy of raising the $2.25 billion per year to be at least $2.36 billion (in addition to the $2.25 billion of tax revenue), or the efficiency loss to the economy for every $1 raised to pay for the Internet access discounts is an additional $1.05 to $1.25 beyond the money raised for the Internet discounts. This cost to the economy is extremely high compared to other taxes used by the Federal government to raise revenues. I discuss an alternative method by which the FCC could have raised the revenue for the Internet discounts which would have a near zero cost to the economy.

Suggested Citation

  • Jerry Hausman, 1997. "Taxation by Telecommunications Regulation," NBER Working Papers 6260, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  • Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:6260 Note: IO PE
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: http://www.nber.org/papers/w6260.pdf
    Download Restriction: no

    Other versions of this item:

    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Bovenberg, A Lans & Goulder, Lawrence H, 1996. "Optimal Environmental Taxation in the Presence of Other Taxes: General-Equilibrium Analyses," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 86(4), pages 985-1000, September.
    2. Browning, Edgar K, 1987. "On the Marginal Welfare Cost of Taxation," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 77(1), pages 11-23, March.
    3. 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.
    4. Hausman, Jerry & Tardiff, Timothy & Belinfante, Alexander, 1993. "The Effects of the Breakup of AT&T on Telephone Penetration in the United States," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 83(2), pages 178-184, May.
    5. Diamond, Peter A & Mirrlees, James A, 1971. "Optimal Taxation and Public Production: I--Production Efficiency," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 61(1), pages 8-27, March.
    6. Gatto, Joseph P. & Langin-Hooper, Jerry & Robinson, Paul B. & Tyan, Holly, 1988. "Interstate switched access demand analysis," Information Economics and Policy, Elsevier, vol. 3(4), pages 333-358.
    7. Solvason, D. Lynn, 1997. "Cross-sectional analysis of residential telephone subscription in Canada using 1994 data," Information Economics and Policy, Elsevier, vol. 9(3), pages 241-264, September.
    8. Alfred E. Kahn, 1988. "The Economics of Regulation: Principles and Institutions," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 0262610523, January.
    9. Auerbach, Alan J., 1985. "The theory of excess burden and optimal taxation," Handbook of Public Economics,in: A. J. Auerbach & M. Feldstein (ed.), Handbook of Public Economics, edition 1, volume 1, chapter 2, pages 61-127 Elsevier.
    10. Jean-Jacques Laffont & Jean Tirole, 2001. "Competition in Telecommunications," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 0262621509, January.
    11. Martin Feldstein, 1999. "Tax Avoidance And The Deadweight Loss Of The Income Tax," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 81(4), pages 674-680, November.
    12. Taylor, William E & Taylor, Lester D, 1993. "Postdivestiture Long-Distance Competition in the United States," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 83(2), pages 185-190, May.
    13. Richard A. Posner, 1971. "Taxation by Regulation," Bell Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 2(1), pages 22-50, Spring.
    14. Diamond, Peter A & Mirrlees, James A, 1971. "Optimal Taxation and Public Production II: Tax Rules," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 61(3), pages 261-278, June.
    15. A. J. Auerbach & M. Feldstein (ed.), 1985. "Handbook of Public Economics," Handbook of Public Economics, Elsevier, edition 1, volume 1, number 1.
    16. Hausman, Jerry A, 1981. "Exact Consumer's Surplus and Deadweight Loss," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 71(4), pages 662-676, September.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    Citations

    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.
    as


    Cited by:

    1. Goolsbee Austan, 2006. "The Value of Broadband and the Deadweight Loss of Taxing New Technology," The B.E. Journal of Economic Analysis & Policy, De Gruyter, vol. 5(1), pages 1-31, April.
    2. Ward, Michael R., . "Rural Telecommunications Subsidies Do Not Help," Journal of Regional Analysis and Policy, Mid-Continent Regional Science Association.
    3. Austan Goolsbee, 2000. "Taxes, High-Income Executives, and the Perils of Revenue Estimation in the New Economy," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 90(2), pages 271-275, May.
    4. Goolsbee, Austan & Klenow, Peter J, 2002. "Evidence on Learning and Network Externalities in the Diffusion of Home Computers," Journal of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 45(2), pages 317-343, October.
    5. Berg, Sanford V. & Jiang, Liangliang & Lin, Chen, 2011. "Incentives for cost shifting and misreporting: US rural universal service subsidies, 1991–2002," Information Economics and Policy, Elsevier, vol. 23(3), pages 287-295.
    6. Jerry Hausman & William Taylor, 2013. "Telecommunication in the US: From Regulation to Competition (Almost)," Review of Industrial Organization, Springer;The Industrial Organization Society, vol. 42(2), pages 203-230, March.
    7. Austan Goolsbee, 2001. "The Implications of Electronic Commerce for Fiscal Policy (and Vice Versa)," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 15(1), pages 13-23, Winter.
    8. Austan Goolsbee & Jonathan Guryan, 2006. "The Impact of Internet Subsidies in Public Schools," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 88(2), pages 336-347, May.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • H21 - Public Economics - - Taxation, Subsidies, and Revenue - - - Efficiency; Optimal Taxation
    • L51 - Industrial Organization - - Regulation and Industrial Policy - - - Economics of Regulation

    Statistics

    Access and download statistics

    Corrections

    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:6260. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (). General contact details of provider: http://edirc.repec.org/data/nberrus.html .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If CitEc recognized a reference but did not link an item in RePEc to it, you can help with this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.