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Oligopoly Deregulation in General Equilibrium: A Tax Neutralization Result

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  • Gilbert E. Metcalf
  • George Norman

Abstract

We examine the interplay between market structure and the form that commodity taxation should take in a general equilibrium model in which firms produce differentiated products and so are able to exert market power. Our analysis takes account of two important recent developments that affect market structure and so the appropriate design and effectiveness of commodity taxation: market deregulation and technological change. When market deregulation facilitates price discrimination, we find that tax policy is ineffective as a means to influence market structure. We further show that when tax rates are set optimally government is able to neutralize the potentially detrimental welfare impact of restrictive entry conditions in the differentiated product sector. Finally, we present conditions under which price discrimination is welfare improving.

Suggested Citation

  • Gilbert E. Metcalf & George Norman, 2003. "Oligopoly Deregulation in General Equilibrium: A Tax Neutralization Result," NBER Working Papers 9416, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  • Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:9416
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Armstrong, Mark & Vickers, John, 1993. "Price Discrimination, Competition and Regulation," Journal of Industrial Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 41(4), pages 335-359, December.
    2. d ASPREMONT , Claude & MOTTA , Massimo, 1994. "Tougher Price-Competition or Lower Concentration : A Trade-Off for Antitrust Authorities ?," CORE Discussion Papers 1994015, Université catholique de Louvain, Center for Operations Research and Econometrics (CORE).
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    4. Kay, J. A. & Keen, M. J., 1983. "How should commodities be taxed? : Market structure, product heterogeneity and the optimal structure of commodity taxes," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 23(3), pages 339-358, September.
    5. Steven C. Salop, 1979. "Monopolistic Competition with Outside Goods," Bell Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 10(1), pages 141-156, Spring.
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    7. Cremer, Helmuth & Thisse, Jacques-Francois, 1994. "Commodity Taxation in a Differentiated Oligopoly," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 35(3), pages 613-633, August.
    8. Norman, George & Thisse, Jacques-Francois, 1999. "Technology Choice and Market Structure: Strategic Aspects of Flexible Manufacturing," Journal of Industrial Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 47(3), pages 345-372, September.
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    10. Metcalf Gilbert E. & Norman George, 2003. "Oligopoly Deregulation and the Taxation of Commodities," The B.E. Journal of Economic Analysis & Policy, De Gruyter, vol. 2(1), pages 1-18, October.
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    14. S. Baranzoni & P. Bianchi & L. Lambertini, 2000. "Multiproduct Firms, Product Differentiation, and Market Structure," Working Papers 368, Dipartimento Scienze Economiche, Universita' di Bologna.
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    Cited by:

    1. Darlene C. Chisholm & George Norman, 2002. "Spatial Competition and Demand: An Application to Motion Pictures," Discussion Papers Series, Department of Economics, Tufts University 0216, Department of Economics, Tufts University.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • D43 - Microeconomics - - Market Structure, Pricing, and Design - - - Oligopoly and Other Forms of Market Imperfection
    • H20 - Public Economics - - Taxation, Subsidies, and Revenue - - - General

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