Public Goods and the Distribution of Income

36 Pages Posted: 21 Aug 2003  

Louis Kaplow

Harvard Law School; National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

Multiple version iconThere are 2 versions of this paper

Date Written: June 2003

Abstract

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.

JEL Classification: D31, H21, H23, H43

Suggested Citation

Kaplow, Louis, Public Goods and the Distribution of Income (June 2003). Harvard Law and Economics Discussion Paper No. 425. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=437540 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.437540

Louis Kaplow (Contact Author)

Harvard Law School ( email )

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