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Taxation under Oligopoly in a General Equilibrium Setting

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Taxation under oligopoly is analysed in a general equilibrium setting where the firms are large relative to the size of the economy and maximise the utility of their shareholders. It turns out that the model is an aggregative game, which simplifies the comparative statics for the effects of taxation. This novel analysis of taxation leads to a number of counterintuitive results that challenge conventional wisdom in microeconomics. A lump-sum tax may increase the price of the oligopolistic good and decrease welfare whereas a profits tax may decrease the price of the oligopolistic good and increase welfare. An ad valorem tax may decrease the price of the oligopolistic good and increase welfare. Furthermore, in line with conventional wisdom, total tax revenue is always higher with an ad valorem tax than with a specific tax that leads to the same price for the oligopolistic good.

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Paper provided by Cardiff University, Cardiff Business School, Economics Section in its series Cardiff Economics Working Papers with number E2015/15.

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Length: 45 pages
Date of creation: Oct 2015
Handle: RePEc:cdf:wpaper:2015/15
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  1. Birgit Grodal & Egbert Dierker, 1999. "The price normalization problem in imperfect competition and the objective of the firm," Economic Theory, Springer;Society for the Advancement of Economic Theory (SAET), vol. 14(2), pages 257-284.
  2. Egbert Dierker & Hildegard Dierker, 2006. "General Equilibrium with Imperfect Competition," Journal of the European Economic Association, MIT Press, vol. 4(2-3), pages 436-445, 04-05.
  3. Lisa Grazzini, 2006. "A Note on Ad Valorem and Per Unit Taxation in an Oligopoly Model," Journal of Economics, Springer, vol. 89(1), pages 59-74, October.
  4. Dierker, Egbert & Grodal, Birgit, 1998. " Modelling Policy Issues in a World of Imperfect Competition," Scandinavian Journal of Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 100(1), pages 153-179, March.
  5. Guesnerie, Roger & Laffont, Jean-Jacques, 1978. "Taxing price makers," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 19(2), pages 423-455, December.
  6. Acemoglu, Daron & Jensen, Martin Kaae, 2013. "Aggregate comparative statics," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 81(C), pages 27-49.
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