Pareto Improving Interventions in a General Equilibrium Model with Private Provision of Public Goods
24 Pages Posted: 10 Oct 2006
Most of the literature on government intervention in models of voluntary public goods supply focuses on interventions that increase the total level of a public good, which is considered to be typically underprovided. However, an intervention that is successful in increasing the public good level need not benefit everyone. In this paper we take a direct approach to welfare properties of voluntary provision equilibria in a full blown general equilibrium model with public goods and study interventions that have the goal of Pareto improving on the voluntary provision outcome. Towards this end, we study a model with many private goods and nonlinear production technology for the public good, and hence allow for relative price effects to serve as a powerful channel of intervention. In this setup we show that Pareto improving interventions generally do exist. In particular, direct government provision financed by "small", or "local", lump-sum taxes can be used generically to Pareto improve upon the voluntary provision outcome.
Keywords: general equilibrium, private provision of public goods, Pareto improving interventions
JEL Classification: D51, H41
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation