Taxing Sin Goods and Subsidizing Health Care

24 Pages Posted: 12 Jun 2008

See all articles by Helmuth Cremer

Helmuth Cremer

University of Toulouse (GREMAQ & IDEI); Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR); CESifo (Center for Economic Studies and Ifo Institute)

Philippe De Donder

University of Toulouse 1 - Toulouse School of Economics (TSE)

Dario Maldonado

Universidad del Rosario - Department of Economics; CESifo (Center for Economic Studies and Ifo Institute)

Pierre Pestieau

University of Liège - Research Center on Public and Population Economics; Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR); CESifo (Center for Economic Studies and Ifo Institute); Catholic University of Louvain (UCL) - Center for Operations Research and Econometrics (CORE)

Multiple version iconThere are 3 versions of this paper

Date Written: April 2008

Abstract

We consider a two-period model. In the first period, individuals consume two goods: one is sinful and the other is not. The sin good brings pleasure but has a detrimental effect on second period health and individuals tend to underestimate this effect. In the second period, individuals can devote part of their saving to improve their health status and thus compensate for the damage caused by their sinful consumption. We consider two alternative specifications concerning this second period health care decision: either individuals acknowledge that they have made a mistake in the first period out of myopia or ignorance, or they persist in ignoring the detrimental effect of their sinful consumption. We study the optimal linear taxes on sin good consumption, saving and health care expenditures for a paternalistic social planner. We compare those taxes in the two specifications. We show under which circumstances the first best outcome can be decentralized and we study the second best taxes when saving is unobservable.

Keywords: behavioral economics, dual vs single self, paternalism

JEL Classification: H21, I18

Suggested Citation

Cremer, Helmuth and De Donder, Philippe and Maldonado, Dario and Pestieau, Pierre, Taxing Sin Goods and Subsidizing Health Care (April 2008). CEPR Discussion Paper No. DP6777, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1141682

Helmuth Cremer (Contact Author)

University of Toulouse (GREMAQ & IDEI) ( email )

Toulouse, 31000
France
+33 1 6112 8606 (Phone)
+33 1 6112 8637 (Fax)

Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR)

London
United Kingdom

CESifo (Center for Economic Studies and Ifo Institute)

Poschinger Str. 5
Munich, DE-81679
Germany

Philippe De Donder

University of Toulouse 1 - Toulouse School of Economics (TSE) ( email )

Place Anatole-France
Toulouse Cedex, F-31042
France

Dario Maldonado

Universidad del Rosario - Department of Economics ( email )

Casa Pedro Fermín
Calle 14 # 4-69
Bogota
Colombia

CESifo (Center for Economic Studies and Ifo Institute) ( email )

Poschinger Str. 5
Munich, DE-81679
Germany

Pierre Pestieau

University of Liège - Research Center on Public and Population Economics ( email )

Boulevard du Rectorat, 7, Batiment 31
Sart-Tilman
B-4000 Liege, 4000
Belgium
+32 4 366 3108 (Phone)
+32 4 366 3106 (Fax)

Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR)

London
United Kingdom

CESifo (Center for Economic Studies and Ifo Institute)

Poschinger Str. 5
Munich, DE-81679
Germany

HOME PAGE: http://www.CESifo.de

Catholic University of Louvain (UCL) - Center for Operations Research and Econometrics (CORE) ( email )

34 Vopie Roman Pays
Louvain la Neuve
Belgium

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