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Specific and Ad Valorem Taxation in Asymmetric Cournot Oligopolies


  • Vincenzo Denicolo
  • Massimo Matteuzzi


This paper compares ad valorem and specific taxes in asymmetric homogenous Cournot oligopolies with constant marginal costs. We show that for any given level of industry output, ad valorem taxes are superior to specific taxes in terms of revenue raised. If the tax rates are sufficiently high, for any given specific tax one can find an ad valorem tax that leads to greater tax revenue, consumer surplus, and industry profits. Copyright Kluwer Academic Publishers 2000

Suggested Citation

  • Vincenzo Denicolo & Massimo Matteuzzi, 2000. "Specific and Ad Valorem Taxation in Asymmetric Cournot Oligopolies," International Tax and Public Finance, Springer;International Institute of Public Finance, vol. 7(3), pages 335-342, May.
  • Handle: RePEc:kap:itaxpf:v:7:y:2000:i:3:p:335-342 DOI: 10.1023/A:1008709914537

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. 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.
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    4. Dierickx, I. & Matutes, C. & Neven, D., 1988. "Indirect taxation and cournot equilibrium," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, vol. 6(3), pages 385-399.
    5. Theodore C. Bergstrom & Hal R. Varian, 1985. "When Are Nash Equilibria Independent of the Distribution of Agents' Characteristics?," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 52(4), pages 715-718.
    6. Gareth Myles, 1996. "Imperfect competition and the optimal combination of ad valorem and specific taxation," International Tax and Public Finance, Springer;International Institute of Public Finance, vol. 3(1), pages 29-44, January.
    7. D. B. Suits & R. A. Musgrave, 1953. "Ad Valorem and Unit Taxes Compared," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 67(4), pages 598-604.
    8. Skeath, Susan E. & Trandel, Gregory A., 1994. "A Pareto comparison of ad valorem and unit taxes in noncompetitive environments," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 53(1), pages 53-71, January.
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    Cited by:

    1. Judy Hsu & X. Henry Wang, 2011. "A Note on the Efficiency of Indirect Taxes in an Asymmetric Cournot Oligopoly," Review of Economics & Finance, Better Advances Press, Canada, vol. 1, pages 53-59, February.
    2. Valido, Jorge & Pilar Socorro, M. & Hernández, Aday & Betancor, Ofelia, 2014. "Air transport subsidies for resident passengers when carriers have market power," Transportation Research Part E: Logistics and Transportation Review, Elsevier, vol. 70(C), pages 388-399.
    3. Jinji, Naoto, 2014. "Comparative statics for oligopoly: A generalized result," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 124(1), pages 79-82.
    4. Neelanjan Sen & Rajit Biswas, 2017. "Indirect Taxes in Oligopoly in Presence of Licensing Opportunities," Journal of Industry, Competition and Trade, Springer, vol. 17(1), pages 61-82, March.
    5. Aiura, Hiroshi & Ogawa, Hikaru, 2013. "Unit tax versus ad valorem tax: A tax competition model with cross-border shopping," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 105(C), pages 30-38.
    6. Ascari, Guido & Bertoletti, Paolo & Menegatti, Mario, 2005. "Taxing a monopolist," Research in Economics, Elsevier, vol. 59(4), pages 321-334, December.
    7. Lapan, Harvey E. & Hennessy, David A., 2007. "Unit Vs. Ad Valorem Taxes in Multi-Product Cournot Oligopoly," Staff General Research Papers Archive 12780, Iowa State University, Department of Economics.
    8. Baldini, Massimo & Lambertini, Luca, 2011. "Profit taxation and capital accumulation in a dynamic oligopoly model," Japan and the World Economy, Elsevier, vol. 23(1), pages 13-18, January.
    9. Ramón Torregrosa, 2008. "Macroeconomic effects of an indirect tax substitution," Journal of Economics, Springer, vol. 94(3), pages 199-221, September.
    10. Laszlo Goerke, 2011. "Commodity tax structure under uncertainty in a perfectly competitive market," Journal of Economics, Springer, vol. 103(3), pages 203-219, July.
    11. X. Wang & Jingang Zhao, 2009. "On the efficiency of indirect taxes in differentiated oligopolies with asymmetric costs," Journal of Economics, Springer, vol. 96(3), pages 223-239, April.
    12. GRAZZINI, Lisa, 2000. "Ad valorem and per unit taxation in an oligopoly model," CORE Discussion Papers 2000054, Université catholique de Louvain, Center for Operations Research and Econometrics (CORE).
    13. Colombo, Luca & Labrecciosa, Paola, 2013. "How should commodities be taxed? A supergame-theoretic analysis," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 97(C), pages 196-205.
    14. Hiroshi Aiura & Hikaru Ogawa, 2016. "Indirect Taxes in the Cross-border Shopping Model: A Monopolistic Competition Approach," CIRJE F-Series CIRJE-F-1014, CIRJE, Faculty of Economics, University of Tokyo.
    15. Alexei P Kireyev, 2010. "Export Tax and Pricing Power; Two Hypotheses on the Cocoa Market in Côte d’Ivoire," IMF Working Papers 10/269, International Monetary Fund.
    16. Francisco Galera & Isabel Rodríguez-Tejedo & Juan C. Molero, 2012. "Technology Choice and Unit vs Ad Valorem Tax," Faculty Working Papers 18/12, School of Economics and Business Administration, University of Navarra.
    17. Clément Carbonnier, 2011. "Shifting on prices of per unit and ad valorem consumption taxes, estimation on prices of alcoholic beverages in France," THEMA Working Papers 2011-20, THEMA (THéorie Economique, Modélisation et Applications), Université de Cergy-Pontoise.
    18. D. Dragone & L. Lambertini & A. Palestini, 2009. "On the non-neutrality of profit taxation in a Cournot oligopoly with environmental effects," Working Papers 662, Dipartimento Scienze Economiche, Universita' di Bologna.


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