Chi L. Ta
Department of Agricultural and Consumer Economics
University of Illinois
Urbana, IL 61801
NBER Working Papers and Publications
|January 2017||Public Finance in a Nutshell: A Cobb Douglas Teaching Tool for General Equilibrium Tax Incidence and Excess Burden|
with Don Fullerton: w23064
To help first- or second-year graduate students in economics apply their theoretical training, this paper shows how to solve a simple and intuitive computable general equilibrium (CGE) model using a calculator. Because this simplified Harberger model uses Cobb Douglas functional forms for utility and production, one can solve for all input and output prices and quantities with no taxes and then solve for exact measures of output with a large tax change (not using derivatives). We then show how to solve simultaneously for capital and labor prices (incidence on the sources side of income), for both output prices (incidence on the uses side), for exact measures of overall welfare loss such as the equivalent variation, for excess burden and marginal excess burden, and for the effects on revenu...
Published: Don Fullerton & Chi L. Ta, 2017. "Public Finance in a Nutshell: A Cobb Douglas Teaching Tool for General Equilibrium Tax Incidence and Excess Burden," National Tax Journal, vol 70(1), pages 155-170.