NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH
NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH

Public Goods and the Distribution of Income

Louis Kaplow

NBER Working Paper No. 9842
Issued in July 2003
NBER Program(s):   LE   PE

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.

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Document Object Identifier (DOI): 10.3386/w9842

Published: Kaplow, Louis. "Public Goods And The Distribution Of Income," European Economic Review, 2006, v50(7,Oct), 1627-1660.

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