10 Percent Legacy and Succession Duty Impressed Duty Stamp. In the presence of positive externalities, optimal taxation an introduction to the literature pdf. Pigou’s work in modern economics in 1972.
In 1920, British economist Arthur C. In it, Pigou argues that industrialists seek their own marginal private interest. When the marginal social interest diverges from the marginal private interest, the industrialist has no incentive to internalize the cost of the marginal social cost. Conversely, Pigou argues, if an industry produces a marginal social benefit, the individuals receiving the benefit have no incentive to pay for that service. Pigou refers to these situations as incidental uncharged disservices and incidental uncharged services, respectively. Pigou provides numerous illustrations of incidental uncharged disservices. For example, if a contractor builds a factory in the middle of a crowded neighborhood, the factory causes these incidental uncharged disservices: higher congestion, loss of light, and a loss of health for the neighbors.
He also references businesses that sell alcohol. The sale of alcohol necessitates higher costs in policemen and prisons, Pigou argues, because of the crime associated with alcohol. In other words, the net private product of alcohol businesses is peculiarly large relative to the net social product of the same business. He suggests that this is why most countries tax alcohol businesses.
The divergence between the marginal private interest and the marginal social interest produces two primary results. First, as already noted, the party receiving the social benefit does not pay for it, and the one creating the social harm does not pay for it. Second, when the marginal social cost exceeds the private marginal benefit, the cost-creator over-produces the product. To deal with over-production, Pigou recommends a tax placed on the offending producer.
If the government can accurately gauge the social cost, the tax could equalize the marginal private cost and the marginal social cost. In more specific terms, the producer would have to pay for the non-pecuniary externality that it created. This would effectively reduce the quantity of the product produced, moving the economy back to a healthy equilibrium. The diagram illustrates the working of a Pigovian tax. A tax shifts the marginal private cost curve up by the amount of the tax. If the tax is placed on the quantity of emissions from the factory, the producers have an incentive to reduce output to the socially optimum level.