This paper explores the welfare effects of public consumption, income transfers and public investment financed through different types of taxes. One surprising result is that, contrary to public consumption goods, public capital goods do not necessarily become less attractive if distortionary taxes, rather than lump-sum taxes, are necessary to finance them. The numerical simulations reveal that the net welfare effects of public investments in the Netherlands are typically positive if financed through lump-sum taxes or distortionary taxes on labor. However, if a source-based capital tax is adopted to finance public investments, the overall welfare effect may be negative.

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Erasmus School of Economics

de Mooij, R., van Sinderen, J., & Gout, G. (1998). Welfare Effects of Different Public Expenditures and Taxes in the Netherlands. Empirica, 263–284. doi:1006959332389