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Consumption Externalities, Production Externalities, and the Accumulation of Capital


  • Wen-Fang Liu
  • Stephen Turnovsky


We analyze the effects of consumption and production externalities on the long-run rate of capital accumulation. We show that the importance of consumption externalities depends upon whether or not labor supply is fixed. In the case that it is fixed, they have no long-run effects. Whether they have any distortionary effect on the transitional path depends upon the form of utility function. The effects of production externalities are more pervasive; they exert long-run distortionary effects irrespective of labor supply. The optimal taxation to correct for the distortions created by the externalities is characterized. We analyze both stationary and endogenously growing economies, and while there are many parallels in how externalities impact, there are also important differences.

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  • Wen-Fang Liu & Stephen Turnovsky, 2003. "Consumption Externalities, Production Externalities, and the Accumulation of Capital," Working Papers UWEC-2002-13-P, University of Washington, Department of Economics, revised Nov 2003.
  • Handle: RePEc:udb:wpaper:uwec-2002-13-p

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    Cited by:

    1. Fisher, Walter H. & Heijdra, Ben J., 2009. "Keeping up with the ageing Joneses," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 33(1), pages 53-64, January.
    2. Walter Fisher & F. Hof, 2008. "The quest for status and endogenous labor supply: the relative wealth framework," Journal of Economics, Springer, vol. 93(2), pages 109-144, March.
    3. Fisher, Walter H. & Heijdra, Ben J., 2008. "Growth and the Ageing Joneses," Economics Series 230, Institute for Advanced Studies.
    4. Andrew B. Abel, 2003. "Optimal Taxation When Consumers Have Endogenous Benchmark Levels of Consumption," NBER Working Papers 10099, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    5. Mino, Kazuo, 2006. "Consumption Externalities and Capital Accumulation in an Overlapping Generations Economy," MPRA Paper 17016, University Library of Munich, Germany.

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