Monday, July 26, 2004

 

Higher Gas Tax Means more Hours of Work?

One more post today.  I am upset as usual by the fact that people all around me complain about gas prices.  Gas prices are obscenely low not only from a historic perspective (adjusting for inflation), but also from a geographic perspective.  I am not a big fan of taxes in general, but specific taxes are another question.  I often annoy my more conservative friends because I see justification for an inheritance tax.  This NBER paper suggests increasing taxes (to a point) on gasoline would not only decrease car use, but also increase hours of work.  (Obviously there are some jobs upon which the opposite effect would occur.  Jobs that require a great deal of driving, for example.  However, it is hard to think of a job that requires a great deal of driving where decreasing the amount of time driving wouldn't at least increase efficiency in some sense.  I am thinking of trucking and incomplete loads on a truck).  I just wanted to throw it out there. 

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