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Market structure, pigouvian taxation, and welfare

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  • Rajeev Goel
  • Edward Hsieh

Abstract

Using a short-run partial equilibrium model of social welfare, this paper examines the social welfare implications of changing Pigouvian taxes under three markets: perfect competition, monopoly, and Cournot oligopoly. The result for perfect competition supports the earlier finding that Pigouvian taxation increases social welfare [Buchanan, 1969]. However, in contrast to the previous result that Pigouvian taxes lower welfare under monopoly, the authors show that if the noncompetitive distortion is small, these taxes might still be useful in correcting monopoly-generated externalities and in improving social welfare. Cournot firms react to the tax depending upon their individual perceptions of the gain in post-tax marginal revenue. Policy implications of the study's results are discussed. Copyright International Atlantic Economic Society 1997

Suggested Citation

  • Rajeev Goel & Edward Hsieh, 1997. "Market structure, pigouvian taxation, and welfare," Atlantic Economic Journal, Springer;International Atlantic Economic Society, vol. 25(2), pages 128-138, June.
  • Handle: RePEc:kap:atlecj:v:25:y:1997:i:2:p:128-138
    DOI: 10.1007/BF02298380
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Barnett, A H, 1980. "The Pigouvian Tax Rule under Monopoly," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 70(5), pages 1037-1041, December.
    2. Martin, Robert E., 1986. "Externality regulation and the monopoly firm," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 29(3), pages 347-362, April.
    3. Dennis W. Carlton & Glenn C. Loury, 1980. "The Limitations of Pigouvian Taxes as a Long-Run Remedy for Externalities," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 95(3), pages 559-566.
    4. Oates, Wallace E. & Strassmann, Diana L., 1984. "Effluent fees and market structure," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 24(1), pages 29-46, June.
    5. Buchanan, James M, 1969. "External Diseconomies, Corrective Taxes, and Market Structure," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 59(1), pages 174-177, March.
    6. Mitchell Polinsky, A. & Shavell, Steven, 1982. "Pigouvian taxation with administrative costs," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 19(3), pages 385-394, December.
    7. Michael L. Katz & Harvey S. Rosen, 1983. "Tax Analysis in an Oligopoly Model," NBER Working Papers 1088, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    8. Levin, Dan, 1985. "Taxation within Cournot oligopoly," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 27(3), pages 281-290, August.
    9. F. H. Hahn, 1962. "The Stability of the Cournot Oligopoly Solution," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 29(4), pages 329-331.
    10. Hahn, Robert W, 1989. "Economic Prescriptions for Environmental Problems: How the Patient Followed the Doctor's Orders," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 3(2), pages 95-114, Spring.
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    Cited by:

    1. Goel, Rajeev K. & Hsieh, Edward W.T., 2006. "On coordinating environmental policy and technology policy," Journal of Policy Modeling, Elsevier, vol. 28(8), pages 897-908, November.
    2. Chorng-Jian Liu & Chao-Cheng Mai & Fu-Chuan Lai & Wen-Chung Guo, 2010. "Pollution, Factor Ownerships, and Emission Taxes," Atlantic Economic Journal, Springer;International Atlantic Economic Society, vol. 38(2), pages 209-216, June.
    3. Tore Nilssen, 2011. "Risk externalities in a payments oligopoly," Portuguese Economic Journal, Springer;Instituto Superior de Economia e Gestao, vol. 10(3), pages 211-234, December.

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