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Constraints on income distribution and production efficiency in economies with Ramsey Taxation

By Charles Blackorby and Sushama Murty


We study the link between second-best production efficiency and the constraints on income distribution imposed by private ownership of firms in economies with Ramsey taxation. We review the result of Dasgupta and Stiglitz [1972], Mirrlees [1972], Hahn [1973], and Sadka [1977] about firm-specific profit taxation leading to second-best production efficiency. Problems in the proofs of this result in these papers have been identified by Reinhorn [2005]. We provide an alternative, and with some hope a more intuitive, proof of this result. The mechanism employed in our proof is also used to show second-best production efficiency under some configuarations of private ownership without any (or at best, uniform) profit taxation. The results obtained raise questions about the genericity of the phenomenon of second-best production inefficiency and about recovering social shadow prices in such economies

Topics: HJ
Publisher: University of Warwick, Department of Economics
Year: 2009
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