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Taxation under oligopoly in a general equilibrium setting

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  • David R. Collie

Abstract

Taxation under oligopoly is analyzed in a general equilibrium setting where the firms are large relative to the size of the economy and maximize the utility of their shareholders. Assuming that preferences are either identical and homothetic or identical and quasi‐linear, then the oligopoly model is an aggregative game, which greatly simplifies the comparative statics for the effects of taxation. This novel analysis of taxation leads to a number of counterintuitive results that challenge conventional wisdom in microeconomics. A lump‐sum tax may increase the price of the oligopolistic good and decrease welfare whereas a profits tax may decrease the price of the oligopolistic good and increase welfare. A profits tax is shown to be superior to a lump‐sum tax. Furthermore, in line with conventional wisdom, total tax revenue is always higher with an ad valorem tax than with a specific tax that leads to the same price for the oligopolistic good.

Suggested Citation

  • David R. Collie, 2019. "Taxation under oligopoly in a general equilibrium setting," Journal of Public Economic Theory, Association for Public Economic Theory, vol. 21(4), pages 738-753, August.
  • Handle: RePEc:bla:jpbect:v:21:y:2019:i:4:p:738-753
    DOI: 10.1111/jpet.12373
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Stamatopoulos, Giorgos, 2019. "A strategic tax mechanism," MPRA Paper 93602, University Library of Munich, Germany.

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    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • C72 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Game Theory and Bargaining Theory - - - Noncooperative Games
    • D21 - Microeconomics - - Production and Organizations - - - Firm Behavior: Theory
    • D43 - Microeconomics - - Market Structure, Pricing, and Design - - - Oligopoly and Other Forms of Market Imperfection
    • D51 - Microeconomics - - General Equilibrium and Disequilibrium - - - Exchange and Production Economies
    • H22 - Public Economics - - Taxation, Subsidies, and Revenue - - - Incidence
    • H25 - Public Economics - - Taxation, Subsidies, and Revenue - - - Business Taxes and Subsidies
    • L13 - Industrial Organization - - Market Structure, Firm Strategy, and Market Performance - - - Oligopoly and Other Imperfect Markets
    • L21 - Industrial Organization - - Firm Objectives, Organization, and Behavior - - - Business Objectives of the Firm

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