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Optimum Commodity Taxation in Pooling Equilibria

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  • Eytan Sheshinski

Abstract

This paper extends the standard model of optimum commodity taxation (Ramsey (1927) and Diamond-Mirrlees (1971)) to a competitive economy in which some markets are inefficient due to asymmetric information. As in most insurance markets, consumers impose varying costs on suppliers but firms cannot associate costs to customers and consequently all are charged equal prices. In a competitive pooling equilibrium, the price of each good is equal to average marginal costs weighted by equilibrium quantities. We derive modified Ramsey-Boiteux Conditions for optimum taxes in such an economy and show that they include general-equilibrium effects which reflect the initial deviations of producer prices from marginal costs, and the response of equilibrium prices to the taxes levied. It is shown that condition on the monotonicity of demand elasticities enables to sign the deviations from the standard formula. The general analysis is applied to the optimum taxation of annuities and life insurance.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by CESifo Group Munich in its series CESifo Working Paper Series with number 1815.

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Date of creation: 2006
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Handle: RePEc:ces:ceswps:_1815

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Keywords: asymmetric information; pooling equilibrium; Ramsey-Boiteux Conditions; annuities;

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  1. Rothschild, Michael & Stiglitz, Joseph E, 1976. "Equilibrium in Competitive Insurance Markets: An Essay on the Economics of Imperfect Information," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 90(4), pages 630-49, November.
  2. Lau, Lawrence J & Sheshinski, Eytan & Stiglitz, Joseph E, 1978. "Efficiency in the Optimum Supply of Public Goods," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 46(2), pages 269-84, March.
  3. Alan J. Auerbach & James R. Hines Jr., 2001. "Perfect Taxation with Imperfect Competition," NBER Working Papers 8138, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  4. Diamond, Peter A & Mirrlees, James A, 1971. "Optimal Taxation and Public Production II: Tax Rules," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 61(3), pages 261-78, June.
  5. Salanié, Bernard, 2011. "The Economics of Taxation," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 2, volume 1, number 0262016346, December.
  6. Myles, G. D., 1987. "Tax design in the presence of imperfect competition : An example," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 34(3), pages 367-378, December.
  7. Guesnerie, Roger & Laffont, Jean-Jacques, 1978. "Taxing price makers," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 19(2), pages 423-455, December.
  8. Joseph E. Stiglitz & Partha Dasgupta, 1970. "Differential Taxation, Public Goods, and Economic Efficiency," Cowles Foundation Discussion Papers 299, Cowles Foundation for Research in Economics, Yale University.
  9. Myles, Gareth D., 1989. "Ramsey tax rules for economies with imperfect competition," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 38(1), pages 95-115, February.
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Cited by:
  1. Raúl Alberto Ponce Rodríguez, 2009. "Political institutions and tax rate initiatives," Ensayos Revista de Economia, Universidad Autonoma de Nuevo Leon, Facultad de Economia, vol. 0(2), pages 65-94, November.

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