Redistribution and the Marginal Cost of Public Funds

CES Working Paper at Univ. of Munich No. 142

Posted: 3 Mar 1998

See all articles by Agnar Sandmo

Agnar Sandmo

Norwegian School of Economics (NHH); Norwegian School of Economics (NHH) - Department of Economics; CESifo (Center for Economic Studies and Ifo Institute)

Date Written: September 1997

Abstract

Discussions of the marginal cost of public funds with distortionary taxation are often cast in the framework of a one-consumer economy, while the main justification of distortionary taxes is that they are needed for redistribution. This paper analyzes the issue in a model with heterogeneous consumers and a linear income tax, focusing on the tradeoff between labor market distortions and the redistribution from high-wage to low-wage workers. In an optimal tax system the MCF will be the same for all sources of funds and under certain assumptions less than one. Without optimality the MCF will in general differ between different sources of finance.

JEL Classification: D61, H21, H41

Suggested Citation

Sandmo, Agnar, Redistribution and the Marginal Cost of Public Funds (September 1997). CES Working Paper at Univ. of Munich No. 142. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=56280

Agnar Sandmo (Contact Author)

Norwegian School of Economics (NHH) ( email )

Helleveien 30
Bergen, NO-5045
Norway
+47 55 95 92 76 (Phone)

Norwegian School of Economics (NHH) - Department of Economics

Helleveien 30
N-5035 Bergen
Norway

CESifo (Center for Economic Studies and Ifo Institute)

Poschinger Str. 5
Munich, DE-81679
Germany

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