Constraints on Income Distribution and Production Efficiency In Economies with Ramsey Taxation
We study the link between second-best production efficiency and the constraints on income distribution imposed by private ownership of firms in economies with Ramsey taxation. We review the result of Dasgupta and Stiglitz , Mirrlees , Hahn , and Sadka  about firm-specific profit taxation leading to second-best production efficiency. Problems in the proofs of this result in these papers have been identified by Reinhorn . We provide an alternative, and with some hope a more intuitive, proof of this result. The mechanism employed in our proof is also used to show second-best production efficiency under some configuarations of private ownership without any (or at best, uniform) profit taxation. The results obtained raise questions about the genericity of the phenomenon of second-best production inefficiency and about recovering social shadow prices in such economies.
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