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On the optimal level of public inputs

Author

Listed:
  • Diego Martinez Lopez

    () (Department of Economics, Universidad Pablo de Olavide)

  • A. Jesus Sanchez Fuentes

    () (Department of Economics, Universidad Pablo de Olavide)

Abstract

This paper studies the optimal level of public inputs under two different tax settings. With this aim, we adapt the approach by Gronberg and Liu (2001) to the case of productivity-enhancing public spending. We find that it is not analytically clear whether the first-best level of public spending exceeds the second-best level. After taking account the type of public input, a wide numerical simulation has been carried out. We obtain that the second-best level is always below the first-best level but the criterion by Gronberg and Liu has to be qualified.

Suggested Citation

  • Diego Martinez Lopez & A. Jesus Sanchez Fuentes, 2006. "On the optimal level of public inputs," Working Papers 06.34, Universidad Pablo de Olavide, Department of Economics, revised Mar 2008.
  • Handle: RePEc:pab:wpaper:06.34
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    File Function: Revised version, 2008
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Ming Chang, 2000. "Rules and Levels in the Provision of Public Goods: The Role of Complementarities between the public Good and Taxed Commodities," International Tax and Public Finance, Springer;International Institute of Public Finance, vol. 7(1), pages 83-91, February.
    2. James P. Feehan, 2002. "Distortionary Taxation and Optimal Public Spending on Productive Activities," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 40(1), pages 60-68, January.
    3. Wildasin, David E, 1984. "On Public Good Provision with Distortionary Taxation," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 22(2), pages 227-243, April.
    4. Thomas Gaube, 2005. "Financing Public Goods with Income Taxation: Provision Rules vs. Provision Level," International Tax and Public Finance, Springer;International Institute of Public Finance, vol. 12(3), pages 319-334, May.
    5. Gronberg, Timothy & Liu, Liqun, 2001. " The Second-Best Level of a Public Good: An Approach Based on the Marginal Excess Burden," Journal of Public Economic Theory, Association for Public Economic Theory, vol. 3(4), pages 431-453.
    6. A. Jesus Sanchez Fuentes & Diego Martinez Lopez, 2006. "A new approach to solve non-regular constrained optimization problems. An application to optimal provision of public inputs," Working Papers 06.35, Universidad Pablo de Olavide, Department of Economics.
    7. Browning, Edgar K & Gronberg, Timothy & Liu, Liqun, 2000. "Alternative Measures of the Marginal Cost of Funds," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 38(4), pages 591-599, October.
    8. Feehan, James P, 1989. "Pareto-Efficiency with Three Varieties of Public Input," Public Finance = Finances publiques, , vol. 44(2), pages 237-248.
    9. Pestieau, Pierre, 1978. "Public intermediate goods and distortionary taxation," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 7(4), pages 351-357, May.
    10. Peter A. Diamond & J. A. Mirrlees, 1968. "Optimal Taxation and Public Production," Working papers 22, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Department of Economics.
    11. Kay, J. A., 1980. "The deadweight loss from a tax system," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 13(1), pages 111-119, February.
    12. Wilson, John Douglas, 1991. "Optimal Public Good Provision with Limited Lump-Sum Taxation," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 81(1), pages 153-166, March.
    13. Sandmo, Agnar, 1972. "Optimality rules for the provision of collective factors of production," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 1(1), pages 149-157, April.
    14. Gaube, Thomas, 2000. "When do distortionary taxes reduce the optimal supply of public goods?," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 76(2), pages 151-180, May.
    15. A. B. Atkinson & N. H. Stern, 1974. "Pigou, Taxation and Public Goods," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 41(1), pages 119-128.
    16. Triest, Robert K, 1990. "The Relationship between the Marginal Cost of Public Funds and Marginal Excess Burden," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 80(3), pages 557-566, June.
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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. A. Sanchez & Diego Martinez, 2011. "Optimization in Non-Standard Problems. An Application to the Provision of Public Inputs," Computational Economics, Springer;Society for Computational Economics, vol. 37(1), pages 13-38, January.
    2. A. Jesus Sanchez Fuentes & Diego Martinez Lopez, 2006. "A new approach to solve non-regular constrained optimization problems. An application to optimal provision of public inputs," Working Papers 06.35, Universidad Pablo de Olavide, Department of Economics.
    3. Diego Martinez & Tomas Sjögren, 2009. "Can Labor Market Imperfections Cause Overprovision of Public Inputs?," Working Papers 09.13, Universidad Pablo de Olavide, Department of Economics.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Second best; excess burden; public input.;

    JEL classification:

    • H21 - Public Economics - - Taxation, Subsidies, and Revenue - - - Efficiency; Optimal Taxation
    • H3 - Public Economics - - Fiscal Policies and Behavior of Economic Agents
    • H41 - Public Economics - - Publicly Provided Goods - - - Public Goods
    • H43 - Public Economics - - Publicly Provided Goods - - - Project Evaluation; Social Discount Rate

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