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Social Accounting and the Public Sector



This paper contributes to the theory of social accounting. As such, it tries to extend earlier literature on the welfare equivalence of the comprehensive net national product in two main directions, both of which refer to the public sector. One is by considering welfare measurement problems associated with redistributive policy and public good provision, when the public revenues are raised by distortionary taxes. The other is by addressing the consequences of a 'federation-like' decision structure, where independent tax and expenditure decisions are made both by the central government and by lower level governments. In particular, the analysis shows how so called vertical fiscal external effects, which are associated with tax base sharing among the central and lower level governments, contribute to social accounting.

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