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Consumption Externalities and Pigouvian Ranking -- A Generalized Cobb-Douglas Example

  • Wendner, Ronald

This paper analyzes the impact of consumption externalities on the ``Pigouvian ranking,'' according to which the second-best level of public good provision is \emph{smaller} than the first-best level. Consumption externalities introduce exceptions to the Pigouvian ranking. Two necessary and sufficient conditions for reversal of the Pigouvian ranking are identified, when preferences for private goods (Cobb-Douglas) and the public good are weakly separable: (i) consumption generates a \emph{negative} externality, (ii) utility is not too concave in the subutility of private goods. If preferences are \emph{strongly} separable in the public good, the Pigouvian ranking is reversed if and only if the second-best consumption price is lower than the corrective (Pigouvian) consumption price.

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Paper provided by University Library of Munich, Germany in its series MPRA Paper with number 8540.

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Date of creation: 2008
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Handle: RePEc:pra:mprapa:8540
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  1. Easterlin, Richard A., 1995. "Will raising the incomes of all increase the happiness of all?," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 27(1), pages 35-47, June.
  2. Ferrer-i-Carbonell, Ada, 2005. "Income and well-being: an empirical analysis of the comparison income effect," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 89(5-6), pages 997-1019, June.
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  5. Wilson, John Douglas, 1991. "Optimal Public Good Provision with Limited Lump-Sum Taxation," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 81(1), pages 153-66, March.
  6. Wendner, Ronald & Goulder, Lawrence H., 2008. "Status Effects, Public Goods Provision, and the Excess Burden," MPRA Paper 8260, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  7. Wildasin, David E, 1984. "On Public Good Provision with Distortionary Taxation," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 22(2), pages 227-43, April.
  8. Alpizar, Francisco & Carlsson, Fredrik & Johansson-Stenman, Olof, 2005. "How much do we care about absolute versus relative income and consumption?," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 56(3), pages 405-421, March.
  9. Douglas Wilson, John, 1991. "Optimal public good provision in the Ramsey tax model : A generalization," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 35(1), pages 57-61, January.
  10. Atkinson, Anthony B & Stern, N H, 1974. "Pigou, Taxation and Public Goods," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 41(1), pages 119-28, January.
  11. 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, vol. 7(1), pages 83-91, February.
  12. Sara J. Solnick & David Hemenway, 2005. "Are Positional Concerns Stronger in Some Domains than in Others?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 95(2), pages 147-151, May.
  13. Luttmer, Erzo F. P., 2004. "Neighbors as Negatives: Relative Earnings and Well-Being," Working Paper Series rwp04-029, Harvard University, John F. Kennedy School of Government.
  14. J. Solnick, Sara & Hemenway, David, 1998. "Is more always better?: A survey on positional concerns," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 37(3), pages 373-383, November.
  15. Olof Johansson-Stenman & Fredrik Carlsson & Dinky Daruvala, 2002. "Measuring Future Grandparents" Preferences for Equality and Relative Standing," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 112(479), pages 362-383, April.
  16. 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 261-78, June.
  17. McBride, Michael, 2001. "Relative-income effects on subjective well-being in the cross-section," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 45(3), pages 251-278, July.
  18. 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.
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