Public Goods and the Distribution of Income
Harvard Law School; National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)
Harvard Law and Economics Discussion Paper No. 425
This article addresses conceptual issues concerning the distributive incidence of public goods. Solutions depend on the specific purposes for asking the question of distributive incidence - notably, assessing the extent to which various public goods should be provided, determining how the provision of public goods affects the desirability of income redistribution, and providing a meaningful description of the distribution of well-being. In the course of the analysis, a simple and intuitive version of the benefit principle of taxation (qualitatively different from those commonly advanced in pertinent literatures) is presented, and some of the problems confronting empirical attempts to measure the distributive incidence of public goods are resolved.
Number of Pages in PDF File: 36
JEL Classification: D31, H21, H23, H43
Date posted: August 21, 2003
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