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Public Goods and the Distribution of Income

  • Louis Kaplow

This article addresses conceptual issues concerning the distributive incidence of public goods. Solutions depend on the specific purposes for asking the question of distributive incidence notably, assessing the extent to which various public goods should be provided, determining how the provision of public goods affects the desirability of income redistribution, and providing a meaningful description of the distribution of well-being. In the course of the analysis, a simple and intuitive version of the benefit principle of taxation (qualitatively different from those commonly advanced in pertinent literatures) is presented, and some of the problems confronting empirical attempts to measure the distributive incidence of public goods are resolved.

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Paper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 9842.

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Date of creation: Jul 2003
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Publication status: published as Kaplow, Louis. "Public Goods And The Distribution Of Income," European Economic Review, 2006, v50(7,Oct), 1627-1660.
Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:9842
Note: LE PE
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