NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH
NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH

Will the Real Excess Burden Please Stand Up? (Or, Seven Measures in Search of a Concept)

Alan J. Auerbach, Harvey S. Rosen

NBER Working Paper No. 495
Issued in June 1980
NBER Program(s):   PE

It is well understood that a tax which distorts relative prices generates a welfare cost or "excess burden" in addition to any associated transfer of resources, but there remains considerable controversy and confusion with respect to procedures for measuring this excess burden. The purpose of this paper is to clarify matters concerning what is one of the most basic concepts in welfare economics. We describe and evaluate a number of alternative conceptual experiments which might lie behind an excess burden calculation, showing how these notions can be represented graphically and algebraically and how they can be approximated numerically.

download in pdf format
   (224 K)

email paper

This paper is available as PDF (224 K) or via email.

Machine-readable bibliographic record - MARC, RIS, BibTeX

Document Object Identifier (DOI): 10.3386/w0495

Published: The Fiscal Behavior of State and Local Governments, Rosen, H., ed., Edward Elgar Publishing, 1997, pp. 301-322.

Users who downloaded this paper also downloaded these:
Hines w6852 Three Sides of Harberger Triangles
Auerbach w1025 The Theory of Excess Burden and Optimal Taxation
Driffill and Rosen w0698 Taxation and Excess Burden: A Life-Cycle Perspective
Auerbach and Hines w8181 Taxation and Economic Efficiency
Auerbach, Kotlikoff, and Skinner w0819 The Efficiency Gains from Dynamic Tax Reform
 
Publications
Activities
Meetings
Data
People
About

Support
National Bureau of Economic Research, 1050 Massachusetts Ave., Cambridge, MA 02138; 617-868-3900; email: info@nber.org

Contact Us