Income Distribution, Taxation, and the Private Provision of Public Goods
Jun-ichi Itaya (),
David de Meza and
Gareth Myles ()
Journal of Public Economic Theory, 2002, vol. 4, issue 3, 273-97
This article investigates the role of taxation when public goods are privately provided. Externalities between consumers via the public good are shown to cause kinks in social indifference curves. As a result, a government restricted to income taxation should engineer enough inequality to ensure there are some non-contributors to the public good. Whether commodity taxation changes this conclusion depends on the extent to which consumers "see through" the government budget constraint. If they can, inequality should still be sought. When they cannot, in contrast to the case of an economy with only private goods, commodity taxation can be used in conjunction with income transfers to achieve the first-best. Copyright 2002 by Blackwell Publishing Inc.
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