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Quality standards versus nutritional taxes: Health and welfare impacts with strategic firms

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  • Réquillart, Vincent
  • Soler, Louis-Georges
  • Zang, Yu

Abstract

The goal of this paper is to better understand firms' strategic reactions to nutritional policies targeting food quality improvements and to derive optimal policies. We propose a model of product differentiation, taking into account the taste and health characteristics of products. We study how two firms react to alternative policies: an MQS policy, linear taxation of the two goods on the market, and taxation of the low-quality good. The MQS and the taxation of the low-quality product are the preferred options by a social planner. If taste is moderately important, the MQS policy is chosen by a populist and a paternalist social planner. If taste is a major component of choice, the populist planner chooses to tax the low-quality product whereas the paternalist planner prefers the MQS policy. Finally, for a paternalist social planner, an MQS-based policy always allows for higher levels of welfare than an information policy alone.

Suggested Citation

  • Réquillart, Vincent & Soler, Louis-Georges & Zang, Yu, 2016. "Quality standards versus nutritional taxes: Health and welfare impacts with strategic firms," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 50(C), pages 268-285.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:jhecon:v:50:y:2016:i:c:p:268-285
    DOI: 10.1016/j.jhealeco.2016.09.003
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    1. Allais, Oliver & Bonnet, Céline & Réquillart, Vincent & Spiteri, Marine, 2020. "Reformulation and taxes for healthier consumption: Empirical evidence in the French Dessert market," TSE Working Papers 20-1082, Toulouse School of Economics (TSE).

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Taxation; MQS; Product differentiation; Strategic pricing; Nutritional policy;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • H2 - Public Economics - - Taxation, Subsidies, and Revenue
    • I1 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health
    • L1 - Industrial Organization - - Market Structure, Firm Strategy, and Market Performance

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