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Tax Incidence, Market Power, and Bargaining Structure


  • Lockwood, Ben


This paper considers the incidence of both factor taxes and an income/consumption tax in a general equilibrium model with unionized labor markets and imperfectly competitive product markets, focusing especially on the implications of different bargaining structures in the labor market for tax incidence. The determinants of tax incidence are shown to be very different from the competitive case; in particular, more than 100 percent shifting of general, as opposed to sector specific wage and income/consumption taxes is possible, and the shifting of the wage tax generally increases, rather than decreases, with the elasticity of substitution between labor and capital in production. Also, changes in firm market power and union bargaining power are shown to have counterintuitive effects on the degree of shifting of taxes. Copyright 1990 by Royal Economic Society.

Suggested Citation

  • Lockwood, Ben, 1990. "Tax Incidence, Market Power, and Bargaining Structure," Oxford Economic Papers, Oxford University Press, vol. 42(1), pages 187-209, January.
  • Handle: RePEc:oup:oxecpp:v:42:y:1990:i:1:p:187-209

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Lars Calmfors & Ã…sa Johansson, 2001. "Unemployment Benefits, Contract Length and Nominal Wage Flexibility," CESifo Working Paper Series 514, CESifo Group Munich.
    2. Claude d'Aspremont & Rodolphe Dos Santos Ferreira & Louis-André Gérard-Varet, 1990. "On Monopolistic Competition and Involuntary Unemployment," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 105(4), pages 895-919.
    3. Benassy, Jean-Pascal, 1996. "Taste for variety and optimum production patterns in monopolistic competition," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 52(1), pages 41-47, July.
    4. Olivier Blanchard & Francesco Giavazzi, 2003. "Macroeconomic Effects of Regulation and Deregulation in Goods and Labor Markets," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 118(3), pages 879-907.
    5. d'Aspremont, Claude & Dos Santos Ferreira, Rodolphe & Gerard-Varet, Louis-Andre, 1996. "On the Dixit-Stiglitz Model of Monopolistic Competition," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 86(3), pages 623-629, June.
    6. Pissarides, Christopher A., 1998. "The impact of employment tax cuts on unemployment and wages; The role of unemployment benefits and tax structure," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 42(1), pages 155-183, January.
    7. Heijdra, Ben J. & Ligthart, Jenny E., 1997. "Keynesian Multipliers, Direct Crowding Out, and the Optimal Provision of Public Goods," Journal of Macroeconomics, Elsevier, vol. 19(4), pages 803-826, October.
    8. 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.
    9. Calmfors, Lars & Johansson, Åsa, 2001. "Unemployment Benefits, Contract Length And Nominal Wage Flexibility," Seminar Papers 692, Stockholm University, Institute for International Economic Studies.
    10. Jin, Jim Y., 2001. "Monopolistic competition and bounded rationality," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 45(2), pages 175-184, June.
    11. Blanchard, Olivier Jean & Kiyotaki, Nobuhiro, 1987. "Monopolistic Competition and the Effects of Aggregate Demand," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 77(4), pages 647-666, September.
    12. Heijdra, Ben J & Ligthart, Jenny E & van der Ploeg, Frederick, 1998. "Fiscal Policy, Distortionary Taxation, and Direct Crowding Out under Monopolistic Competition," Oxford Economic Papers, Oxford University Press, vol. 50(1), pages 79-88, January.
    13. Dixit, Avinash K & Stiglitz, Joseph E, 1993. "Monopolistic Competition and Optimum Product Diversity: Reply," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 83(1), pages 302-304, March.
    14. Nickell, Stephen J, 1990. "Unemployment: A Survey," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 100(401), pages 391-439, June.
    15. d ASPREMONT, Claude, & DOS SANTOS FERREIRA , Rodolphe & GERARD-VARET , Louis-André, 1994. "Market Power, Coordination Failures and Endogenous Fluctuations," CORE Discussion Papers 1994068, Université catholique de Louvain, Center for Operations Research and Econometrics (CORE).
    16. McDonald, Ian M & Solow, Robert M, 1981. "Wage Bargaining and Employment," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 71(5), pages 896-908, December.
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    Cited by:

    1. Silvia Rocha-Akis, 2006. "Labour tax policies and strategic offshoring under unionised oligopoly," Department of Economics Working Papers wuwp099, Vienna University of Economics and Business, Department of Economics.
    2. Kjell Erik Lommerud & Bjørn Sandvik & Odd Rune Straume, 2004. "Good Jobs, Bad Jobs and Redistribution," Scandinavian Journal of Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 106(4), pages 703-720, December.
    3. Szabolcs Deák & Lionel Fontagné & Marco Maffezzoli & Massimiliano Marcellino, 2012. "The banking and distribution sectors in a small open economy DSGE Model," RSCAS Working Papers 2012/53, European University Institute.
    4. Clemens Fuest & Bernd Huber, 1999. "Tax Coordination and Unemployment," International Tax and Public Finance, Springer;International Institute of Public Finance, vol. 6(1), pages 7-26, February.
    5. Delipalla, Sophia & Sanfey, Peter, 2001. " Commodity Taxes, Wage Determination, and Profits," Journal of Public Economic Theory, Association for Public Economic Theory, vol. 3(2), pages 203-217.
    6. Nils aus dem Moore, 2014. "Shifting the Burden of Corporate Taxes: Heterogeneity in Direct Wage Incidence," Ruhr Economic Papers 0531, Rheinisch-Westfälisches Institut für Wirtschaftsforschung, Ruhr-Universität Bochum, Universität Dortmund, Universität Duisburg-Essen.
    7. repec:zbw:rwirep:0531 is not listed on IDEAS
    8. Deák, Szabolcs & Fontagné, Lionel & Maffezzoli, Marco & Marcellino, Massimiliano, 2011. "LSM: A DSGE model for Luxembourg," Economic Modelling, Elsevier, vol. 28(6), pages 2862-2872.
    9. Silvia Rocha‐Akis & Ronnie Schöb, 2011. "Welfare Policy in the Presence of Unionised Labour and Internationally Mobile Firms," Scandinavian Journal of Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 113(1), pages 93-119, March.
    10. Chae, Suchan, 2002. "Tax incidence with bargaining," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 77(2), pages 199-204, October.
    11. Kolm, Ann-Sofie, 1998. "Differentiated payroll taxes, unemployment, and welfare," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 70(2), pages 255-271, November.
    12. Schimmelpfennig, Axel, 1999. "Whodunnit? Changes in the relative demand for unskilled and skilled labor," Kiel Working Papers 914, Kiel Institute for the World Economy (IfW).
    13. Edward Calthrop & Bruno Borger, 2007. "On Tax Over-Shifting in Wage Bargaining Models," Atlantic Economic Journal, Springer;International Atlantic Economic Society, vol. 35(2), pages 127-143, June.

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