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Distribution and Dynamics in a Simple Tax Regime Transition

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  • Nathaniel T. Wilcox

    ()
    (Department of Economics, University of Houston)

  • Mark V. Van Boening

    (University of Mississippi)

Abstract

We examine transitions between excise tax and license fee regimes in the laboratory. The regimes have matched equilibrium Marshallian surplus, but license fees generate more tax revenue. The license fees are large “avoidable costs,” known to hamper competitive equilibrium convergence. With moderately experienced subjects, the prolonged transition to the license fee equilibrium has these features: (1) Prices below equilibrium levels, resulting in firm losses; (2) Marshallian surplus above equilibrium levels; and (3) transitional windfalls for the tax authority. With highly experienced subjects, license fees lead to the instability and lower seller profits and efficiency observed in past avoidable cost markets.

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File URL: http://www.uh.edu/econpapers/RePEc/hou/wpaper/2003-02.pdf
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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Department of Economics, University of Houston in its series Working Papers with number 2003-02 Classification-C9, H2.

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Length: 31 pages
Date of creation: Mar 2003
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:hou:wpaper:2003-02

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Postal: Houston TX 77023
Web page: http://www.uh.edu/class/economics/
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Related research

Keywords: Tax Regime Transitions; Avoidable Costs; Double Auctions; Experimental Methods.;

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  1. Smith, Vernon L, 1985. "Experimental Economics: Reply," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 75(1), pages 264-72, March.
  2. Smith, Vernon L. & Williams, Arlington W., 1982. "The effects of rent asymmetries in experimental auction markets," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 3(1), pages 99-116, March.
  3. Robert Moir, 1998. "A Monte Carlo Analysis of the Fisher Randomization Technique: Reviving Randomization for Experimental Economists," Experimental Economics, Springer, vol. 1(1), pages 87-100, June.
  4. Van Boening, Mark V & Wilcox, Nathaniel T, 1996. "Avoidable Cost: Ride a Double Auction Roller Coaster," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 86(3), pages 461-77, June.
  5. Stern, Nicholas, 1992. "From the static to the dynamic: some problems in the theory of taxation," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 47(2), pages 273-297, March.
  6. Plott, Charles R., 1989. "An updated review of industrial organization: Applications of experimental methods," Handbook of Industrial Organization, in: R. Schmalensee & R. Willig (ed.), Handbook of Industrial Organization, edition 1, volume 2, chapter 19, pages 1109-1176 Elsevier.
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