George Economides, Apostolis Philippopoulos

User Prices and Multiplicity in a Simple General Equilibrium Model

Section: Articles
FinanzArchiv (FA)

Volume 78 () / Issue 4, pp. 379-392 (14)
Published 18.11.2022

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We use a simple general equilibrium model with multiple equilibria in the form of a coordination failure in which the government has the option to finance the provision of a merit good by using user prices. Ourmain results, derived analytically, are as follows: First, the introduction of a price mechanism for the merit good forces agents to internalize the social cost of publicly provided goods and this allows for higher public expenditures other things equal. Second, if the economy happens to end up at a high-employment equilibrium, the introduction of user prices further improves private incentives and enhances aggregate efficiency, whereas it further deteriorates private incentives and hurts aggregate efficiency if the economy happens to end up at a low-employment equilibrium. Third, the mechanism of user prices breaks down as the publicly provided good becomes more and more public so that free-riding problems dominate, or when there is a threshold minimum level for this good that is sufficiently high as in the covid-19 pandemic.

George Economides No current data available.

Apostolis Philippopoulos No current data available.