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Taxation and the Sustainability of Collusion: Ad Valorem versus Specific Taxes

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Assuming constant marginal cost, it is shown that a switch from specific to ad valorem taxation has no effect on the critical discount factor required to sustain collusion. This result is shown to hold for Cournot oligopoly as well as for Bertrand oligopoly when collusion is sustained with Nash-reversion strategies or optimal-punishment strategies. In a Cournot duopoly model with linear demand and quadratic costs, it is shown that the critical discount factor is lower with an ad valorem tax than with a specific tax. However, in contrast to Colombo and Labrecciosa (2013), it is shown that revenue is always higher with an ad valorem tax than with a specific tax.

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Paper provided by Cardiff University, Cardiff Business School, Economics Section in its series Cardiff Economics Working Papers with number E2014/15.

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Length: 27 pages
Date of creation: Sep 2014
Handle: RePEc:cdf:wpaper:2014/15
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  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.
  2. Anderson, Simon P. & de Palma, Andre & Kreider, Brent, 2001. "The efficiency of indirect taxes under imperfect competition," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 81(2), pages 231-251, August.
  3. Kowalczyk, Carsten & Skeath, Susan E., 1994. "Pareto ranking optimal tariffs under foreign monopoly," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 45(3), pages 355-359.
  4. James W. Friedman, 1971. "A Non-cooperative Equilibrium for Supergames," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 38(1), pages 1-12.
  5. Charles D. Kolstad & Lars Mathiesen, 1987. "Necessary and Sufficient Conditions for Uniqueness of a Cournot Equilibrium," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 54(4), pages 681-690.
  6. Luca Lambertini & Dan Sasaki, 1999. "Optimal punishments in linear duopoly supergames with product differentiation," Journal of Economics, Springer, vol. 69(2), pages 173-188, June.
  7. Abreu, Dilip, 1986. "Extremal equilibria of oligopolistic supergames," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 39(1), pages 191-225, June.
  8. 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.
  9. 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.
  10. 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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