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Optimum Commodity Taxation in Pooling Equilibria

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  • Eytan Sheshinski

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Abstract

This paper extends the standard model of optimum commodity taxation (Ramsey (1927) and Diamond-Mirrlees (1971)) to a competitive economy in which some markets are inefficient due to asymmetric information. As in most insurance markets, consumers impose varying costs on suppliers but …firms cannot associate costs to customers and consequently all are charged equal prices. In a competitive pooling equilibrium, the price of each good is equal to average marginal costs weighted by equilibrium quantities. We derive modi…ed Ramsey-Boiteux Conditions for optimum taxes in such an economy and show that they include general-equilibrium effects which re‡flect the initial deviations of producer prices from marginal costs, and the response of equilibrium prices to the taxes levied. It is shown that condition on the monotonicity of demand elasticities enables to sign the deviations from the standard formula. The general analysis is applied to the optimum taxation of annuities and life insurance.

Suggested Citation

  • Eytan Sheshinski, 2006. "Optimum Commodity Taxation in Pooling Equilibria," Discussion Paper Series dp429, The Federmann Center for the Study of Rationality, the Hebrew University, Jerusalem.
  • Handle: RePEc:huj:dispap:dp429
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. J. E. Stiglitz & P. Dasgupta, 1971. "Differential Taxation, Public Goods, and Economic Efficiency," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 38(2), pages 151-174.
    2. Alan J. Auerbach & James R. Hines Jr., 2001. "Perfect Taxation with Imperfect Competition," NBER Working Papers 8138, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    3. Salanié, Bernard, 2011. "The Economics of Taxation," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 2, volume 1, number 0262016346, January.
    4. Myles, G. D., 1987. "Tax design in the presence of imperfect competition : An example," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 34(3), pages 367-378, December.
    5. Lau, Lawrence J & Sheshinski, Eytan & Stiglitz, Joseph E, 1978. "Efficiency in the Optimum Supply of Public Goods," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 46(2), pages 269-284, March.
    6. Myles, Gareth D., 1989. "Ramsey tax rules for economies with imperfect competition," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 38(1), pages 95-115, February.
    7. Diamond, Peter A & Mirrlees, James A, 1971. "Optimal Taxation and Public Production II: Tax Rules," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 61(3), pages 261-278, June.
    8. Guesnerie, Roger & Laffont, Jean-Jacques, 1978. "Taxing price makers," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 19(2), pages 423-455, December.
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    Cited by:

    1. Raúl Alberto Ponce Rodríguez, 2009. "Political institutions and tax rate initiatives," Ensayos Revista de Economia, Universidad Autonoma de Nuevo Leon, Facultad de Economia, vol. 0(2), pages 65-94, November.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Asymmetric Information; Pooling Equilibrium; Ramsey-Boiteux Conditions; Annuities;

    JEL classification:

    • D43 - Microeconomics - - Market Structure, Pricing, and Design - - - Oligopoly and Other Forms of Market Imperfection
    • H21 - Public Economics - - Taxation, Subsidies, and Revenue - - - Efficiency; Optimal Taxation

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