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Decreasing returns, patent licensing and price-reducing taxes

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  • Sen, Debapriya
  • Stamatopoulos, Giorgos

Abstract

Patent licensing agreements among competing firms usually involve royalties which are often considered to be anticompetitive as they raise market prices. In this paper we propose simple tax policies than can alleviate the effect of royalties. Considering a Cournot duopoly where firms produce under decreasing returns and trade a patented technology, we show that the interaction of royalties with decreasing returns may generate the counter-intuitive result that market prices decrease in the magnitude of diseconomies of scale. In such cases there exist progressive quantity taxes on firms that weaken the effect of royalties and lower the market prices. These taxes collect sufficient revenue to compensate firms for their losses. As a result, it is possible to design deficit neutral tax-transfer schemes that strictly Pareto improve the welfare of consumers as well as firms.

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Paper provided by University Library of Munich, Germany in its series MPRA Paper with number 46246.

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Date of creation: 16 Apr 2013
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Handle: RePEc:pra:mprapa:46246

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Keywords: Decreasing returns; patent licensing; royalty; progressive quantity tax; deficit neutrality;

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  1. Carlton, Dennis W & Loury, Glenn C, 1980. "The Limitations of Pigouvian Taxes as a Long-Run Remedy for Externalities," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 95(3), pages 559-66, November.
  2. Katz, Michael L & Shapiro, Carl, 1986. "How to License Intangible Property," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 101(3), pages 567-89, August.
  3. Konishi, Hideki & Okuno-Fujiwara, Masahiro & Suzumura, Kotaro, 1990. "Oligopolistic competition and economic welfare : A general equilibrium analysis of entry regulation and tax-subsidy schemes," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 42(1), pages 67-88, June.
  4. de Meza, David & Maloney, John & Myles, Gareth D., 1995. "Price-reducing taxation," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 47(1), pages 77-81, January.
  5. Geanakoplos, John & Polemarchakis, H.M., 2008. "Pareto improving taxes," Journal of Mathematical Economics, Elsevier, vol. 44(7-8), pages 682-696, July.
  6. John Geanakoplos & H M Polemchakis, 2008. "Pareto Improving Taxes," Levine's Working Paper Archive 122247000000002219, David K. Levine.
  7. Alan J. Auerbach & James R. Hines Jr., 2001. "Perfect Taxation with Imperfect Competition," NBER Working Papers 8138, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  8. John Geanakoplos & H. M. Polemarchakis, 2008. "Pareto Improving Taxes," Cowles Foundation Discussion Papers 1662, Cowles Foundation for Research in Economics, Yale University.
  9. Yoshiaki Ushio, 2000. "Welfare Effects of Commodity Taxation in Cournot Oligopoly," The Japanese Economic Review, Japanese Economic Association, vol. 51(2), pages 268-273, 06.
  10. Kamien, Morton I & Tauman, Yair, 1986. "Fees versus Royalties and the Private Value of a Patent," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 101(3), pages 471-91, August.
  11. Greenwald, Bruce C & Stiglitz, Joseph E, 1986. "Externalities in Economies with Imperfect Information and Incomplete Markets," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 101(2), pages 229-64, May.
  12. Dillen, Mats, 1995. "Corrective tax and subsidy policies in economies with Bertrand competition," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 58(2), pages 267-282, October.
  13. Baumol, William J, 1972. "On Taxation and the Control of Externalities," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 62(3), pages 307-22, June.
  14. Wang, X. Henry, 1998. "Fee versus royalty licensing in a Cournot duopoly model," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 60(1), pages 55-62, July.
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