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Ad valorem versus unit taxes: monopolistic competition, heterogeneous firms, and intra-industry reallocations

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  • Philipp Schröder

    ()

  • Allan Sørensen

    ()

Abstract

Real-world industries are composed from heterogeneous firms and substantial intra-industry reallocations take place, i.e. high productivity firms squeeze out low productivity firms. Previous tax-tool comparisons have not included these central forces of industry structure. This paper examines a general equilibrium monopolistic competition model with heterogeneous firms and intra-industry reallocations. We show that the welfare superiority of ad valorem over unit taxes under imperfect competition is not only preserved but amplified. The additional difference between the tools arises because unit taxes distort relative prices, which in turn reduces average industry productivity through reallocations (the survival and increased market share of lower productivity firms). Importantly, numerical solutions of the model reveal that the relative welfare loss from using the unit tax increases dramatically in the degree of firm heterogeneity.

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by Springer in its journal Journal of Economics.

Volume (Year): 101 (2010)
Issue (Month): 3 (November)
Pages: 247-265

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Handle: RePEc:kap:jeczfn:v:101:y:2010:i:3:p:247-265

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Web page: http://www.springerlink.com/link.asp?id=108909

Related research

Keywords: Unit tax; Ad valorem tax; Welfare; Intra-industry reallocation; Monopolistic competition; Heterogenous firms; D43; D61; H21; H22; H23; L11; L13;

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  1. Blackorby, Charles & Murty, Sushama, 2007. "Unit versus ad valorem taxes: Monopoly in general equilibrium," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 91(3-4), pages 817-822, April.
  2. Yeaple, Stephen & Helpman, Elhanan & Melitz, Marc, 2004. "Export versus FDI with Heterogeneous Firms," Scholarly Articles 3229098, Harvard University Department of Economics.
  3. Dixit, Avinash K & Stiglitz, Joseph E, 1977. "Monopolistic Competition and Optimum Product Diversity," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 67(3), pages 297-308, June.
  4. Dunne, T. & Roberts, M.J. & Samuelson, L., 1988. "The Growth And Failure Of U.S. Manufacturing Plants," Papers 1-87-5, Pennsylvania State - Department of Economics.
  5. S. P. Anderson & A. de Palma & B. Kreider, 1999. "The efficiency of indirect taxes under imperfect competition," THEMA Working Papers 99-09, THEMA (THéorie Economique, Modélisation et Applications), Université de Cergy-Pontoise.
  6. X. Wang & Jingang Zhao, 2009. "On the efficiency of indirect taxes in differentiated oligopolies with asymmetric costs," Journal of Economics, Springer, vol. 96(3), pages 223-239, April.
  7. Delipalla, Sofia & Keen, Michael, 1992. "The comparison between ad valorem and specific taxation under imperfect competition," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 49(3), pages 351-367, December.
  8. Junko Doi & Koichi Futagami, 2004. "Commodity Taxation and the Effects of Entry: A Case of Variety Preferences," Journal of Economics, Springer, vol. 83(3), pages 267-279, December.
  9. Michael Keen, 1998. "The balance between specific and ad valorem taxation," Fiscal Studies, Institute for Fiscal Studies, vol. 19(1), pages 1-37, February.
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Cited by:
  1. Aiura, Hiroshi & Ogawa, Hikaru, 2013. "Unit tax versus ad valorem tax: A tax competition model with cross-border shopping," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 105(C), pages 30-38.

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