Buyer and Seller Concentration in Global Commodity Markets
Commodity markets may be characterized by concentration on the buyer side, with a small number of transnational intermediary firms purchasing from supplying countries and distributing to the market. In many cases, developing economies may have little choice but to sell through these intermediaries, and recent work has suggested the export taxes may be an optimal policy to recapture some of the monopsony rent. However, in many commodity markets there are a limited number of large supplying countries. Even if the markets are competitive, this supply-side concentration suggests that economies have market power themselves, and that the governments of the countries may be engaged in a strategic game when selecting trade policies. We consider a situation where an oligopsonistic intermediary industry purchases from a small number of supplying countries, the governments of which act strategically in their policy choices both with respect to the intermediaries and any competing suppliers. In the resulting two-stage game, we show that an export subsidy may arise as the optimal intervention.
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Volume (Year): 16 (2012)
Issue (Month): 2 (May)
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