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Growth and Welfare: Distorting versus Non-Distorting Taxes

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Abstract

Some concepts associated with the notion of public consumption could be considered as wasteful public expenditures, so that a firstbest analysis would set their level equal to zero every period. However, their ratio to output is significant and rather stable over time in actual economies. In an endogenous growth framework similar to Barro (1990), we analytically characterize the dependence of a second best public investment policy on wasteful public consumption. We compare two extreme tax systems: a distorting system and a nondistorting one. The presence of wasteful expenditures affect optimal public investment and the optimal public financing mechanism. Since private agents do not internalize the fact that by raising their capital accumulation they could be generating extra public investment and consumption, financing public expenditures through lump-sum taxes might lead to an excessive crowding-out impact on current consumption, which may sharply reduce welfare in the short-run as well as limit public capital accumulation and long-run growth. It turns out that this e?ect can be more damaging for growth and welfare than the disincentive created on private capital accumulation when taxing capital income.

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  • Gustavo A. Marrero & Alfonso Novales, 2003. "Growth and Welfare: Distorting versus Non-Distorting Taxes," Documentos de Trabajo del ICAE 0302, Universidad Complutense de Madrid, Facultad de Ciencias Económicas y Empresariales, Instituto Complutense de Análisis Económico.
  • Handle: RePEc:ucm:doicae:0302
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    Cited by:

    1. Pierre-Richard Agénor, 2009. "Infrastructure Investment and Maintenance Expenditure: Optimal Allocation Rules in a Growing Economy," Journal of Public Economic Theory, Association for Public Economic Theory, vol. 11(2), pages 233-250, April.
    2. Andreas Irmen & Johanna Kuehnel, 2009. "Productive Government Expenditure And Economic Growth," Journal of Economic Surveys, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 23(4), pages 692-733, September.
    3. Gustavo Marrero, 2010. "Tax-mix, public spending composition and growth," Journal of Economics, Springer, vol. 99(1), pages 29-51, February.
    4. JosÈ Manuel Gonz·lez-P·ramo & Diego MartÌnez LÛpez, "undated". "Public Investment and Convergence in the Spanish Regions," Studies on the Spanish Economy 112, FEDEA.
    5. Pierre-Richard Agénor, 2005. "Infrastructure Investment and Maintenance Expenditure: Optimal Allocation Rules in a Growing," The School of Economics Discussion Paper Series 0537, Economics, The University of Manchester.
    6. Marrero, Gustavo A., 2008. "Revisiting The Optimal Stationary Public Investment Policy In Endogenous Growth Economies," Macroeconomic Dynamics, Cambridge University Press, vol. 12(02), pages 172-194, April.
    7. Gustavo A. Marrero & Alfonso Novales, 2003. "Taxing or subsidizing Factors' rents in a simple endogenous growth model with public capital," Documentos de Trabajo del ICAE 0303, Universidad Complutense de Madrid, Facultad de Ciencias Económicas y Empresariales, Instituto Complutense de Análisis Económico.
    8. Thi Kim Cuong Pham, 2012. "Status-seeking and economic growth: the Barro model revisited," Working Papers of BETA 2012-06, Bureau d'Economie Théorique et Appliquée, UDS, Strasbourg.
    9. Marrero, Gustavo A. & Novales, Alfonso, 2011. "Growth, income taxes and consumption aspirations," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 113(3), pages 221-224.
    10. Marrero, Gustavo A. & Novales, Alfonso, 2007. "Income taxes, public investment and welfare in a growing economy," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 31(10), pages 3348-3369, October.
    11. Cavalcanti, Carlos B. & Marrero, Gustavo A. & Le, Tuan Minh, 2014. "Measuring the impact of debt-financed public investment," Policy Research Working Paper Series 6766, The World Bank.
    12. Zhang, Lifeng & Ru, Yucong & Li, Jingkui, 2016. "Optimal tax structure and public expenditure composition in a simple model of endogenous growth," Economic Modelling, Elsevier, vol. 59(C), pages 352-360.

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    Keywords

    Endogenous growth; Distorting taxes; Public investment; Wasteful public expenditure;

    JEL classification:

    • E0 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - General
    • E6 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Macroeconomic Policy, Macroeconomic Aspects of Public Finance, and General Outlook
    • O4 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Growth and Aggregate Productivity

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