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Welfare effects of taxation in oligopolistic markets

Listed author(s):
  • Häckner, Jonas
  • Herzing, Mathias

This paper discusses how marginal costs of public funds are related to various market characteristics under imperfect competition. Under a quite general tax scheme, these costs turn out to be lower the wider the firms' product ranges, the lower the degree of market concentration and the lower the degree of product differentiation. Moreover, marginal costs of taxation are lower in Bertrand markets compared to Cournot markets. In cases when marginal costs of public funds cannot easily be assessed we ask if pass-through rates can provide useful information for policy makers. The market characteristics that we analyze are shown to have opposite effects on pass-through and marginal costs of public funds. It is also demonstrated that the marginal cost of public funds is generally lower for ad valorem taxes than for unit taxes. The main results are based on a linear demand system, but a number of extensions confirm that our main results are reasonably robust.

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File URL: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0022053116000089
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Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Journal of Economic Theory.

Volume (Year): 163 (2016)
Issue (Month): C ()
Pages: 141-166

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Handle: RePEc:eee:jetheo:v:163:y:2016:i:c:p:141-166
DOI: 10.1016/j.jet.2016.01.007
Contact details of provider: Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/inca/622869

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  1. Michael Spence, 1976. "Product Selection, Fixed Costs, and Monopolistic Competition," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 43(2), pages 217-235.
  2. Delipalla, Sofia & Keen, Michael, 1992. "The comparison between ad valorem and specific taxation under imperfect competition," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 49(3), pages 351-367, December.
  3. Zhao, Jingang, 2001. "A characterization for the negative welfare effects of cost reduction in Cournot oligopoly," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, vol. 19(3-4), pages 455-469, March.
  4. Avinash Dixit, 1979. "A Model of Duopoly Suggesting a Theory of Entry Barriers," Bell Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 10(1), pages 20-32, Spring.
  5. Nirvikar Singh & Xavier Vives, 1984. "Price and Quantity Competition in a Differentiated Duopoly," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 15(4), pages 546-554, Winter.
  6. Dixit, Avinash K & Stiglitz, Joseph E, 1977. "Monopolistic Competition and Optimum Product Diversity," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 67(3), pages 297-308, June.
  7. Raj Chetty, 2009. "Sufficient Statistics for Welfare Analysis: A Bridge Between Structural and Reduced-Form Methods," Annual Review of Economics, Annual Reviews, vol. 1(1), pages 451-488, 05.
  8. E. Glen Weyl & Michal Fabinger, 2013. "Pass-Through as an Economic Tool: Principles of Incidence under Imperfect Competition," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 121(3), pages 528-583.
  9. Hackner, Jonas, 2000. "A Note on Price and Quantity Competition in Differentiated Oligopolies," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 93(2), pages 233-239, August.
  10. Zimmerman, Paul R. & Carlson, Julie A., 2010. "Competition and cost pass-through in differentiated oligopolies," MPRA Paper 25931, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  11. Fevrier, Philippe & Linnemer, Laurent, 2004. "Idiosyncratic shocks in an asymmetric Cournot oligopoly," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, vol. 22(6), pages 835-848, June.
  12. Henrik Vetter, 2014. "Ad Valorem versus Unit Taxes in Oligopoly and Endogenous Market Conduct," Public Finance Review, , vol. 42(4), pages 532-551, July.
  13. David Genesove & Wallace P. Mullin, 1998. "Testing Static Oligopoly Models: Conduct and Cost in the Sugar Industry, 1890-1914," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 29(2), pages 355-377, Summer.
  14. Adriaan Kate & Gunnar Niels, 2005. "To What Extent are Cost Savings Passed on to Consumers? An Oligopoly Approach," European Journal of Law and Economics, Springer, vol. 20(3), pages 323-337, November.
  15. Wang, X. Henry & Zhao, Jingang, 2007. "Welfare reductions from small cost reductions in differentiated oligopoly," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, vol. 25(1), pages 173-185, February.
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