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Toward an Efficiency Rationale for the Public Provision of Private Goods

  • Peter Norman

    (UNC Chapel Hill)

  • Hanming Fang

    (Upenn)

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 an efficiency loss from separating revenue and expenditure problems, and is therefore of more general interest for the study of optimal taxation.

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Paper provided by Society for Economic Dynamics in its series 2010 Meeting Papers with number 1185.

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Date of creation: 2010
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Handle: RePEc:red:sed010:1185
Contact details of provider: Postal: Society for Economic Dynamics Christian Zimmermann Economic Research Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis PO Box 442 St. Louis MO 63166-0442 USA
Fax: 1-314-444-8731
Web page: http://www.EconomicDynamics.org/society.htm
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