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An alternative way to model merit good arguments

By Fred Schroyen

Abstract

Besley (1988) uses a scaling approach to model merit good arguments in commodity tax policy. In this paper, I question this approach on the grounds that it produces 'wrong' recommendations--taxation (subsidisation) of merit (demerit) goods--whenever the demand for the (de)merit good is inelastic. I propose an alternative approach that does not suffer from this deficiency, and derive the ensuing first and second best tax rules, as well as the marginal cost expressions to perform tax reform analysis.merits goods, commodity taxation, tax reform analysis

OAI identifier: oai:RePEc:aub:autbar:595.03

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