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Oligopoly Deregulation in General Equilibrium: A Tax Neutralization Result

  • Gilbert E. Metcalf
  • George Norman

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.

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Paper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 9416.

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Date of creation: Jan 2003
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:9416
Note: PE
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  1. Thisse, Jacques-Francois & Vives, Xavier, 1988. "On the Strategic Choice of Spatial Price Policy," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 78(1), pages 122-37, March.
  2. 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.
  3. NORMAN, George & THISSE, Jacques-François, 1996. "Technology choice and market structure : strategic aspects of flexible manufacturing," CORE Discussion Papers 1996059, Université catholique de Louvain, Center for Operations Research and Econometrics (CORE).
  4. Cremer, H. & Thisse, J.-F., . "Commodity taxation in a differentiated oligopoly," CORE Discussion Papers RP 1112, Université catholique de Louvain, Center for Operations Research and Econometrics (CORE).
  5. Novshek, William, 1980. "Equilibrium in simple spatial (or differentiated product) models," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 22(2), pages 313-326, April.
  6. B. Curtis Eaton & Myrna Holtz Wooders, 1985. "Sophisticated Entry in a Model of Spatial Competition," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 16(2), pages 282-297, Summer.
  7. Steven C. Salop, 1979. "Monopolistic Competition with Outside Goods," Bell Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 10(1), pages 141-156, Spring.
  8. 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.
  9. Norman,George & Thisse,Jacques-François (ed.), 2000. "Market Structure and Competition Policy," Cambridge Books, Cambridge University Press, number 9780521783330, October.
  10. Armstrong, Mark & Vickers, John, 1993. "Price Discrimination, Competition and Regulation," Journal of Industrial Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 41(4), pages 335-59, December.
  11. S. Baranzoni & P. Bianchi & L. Lambertini, 2000. "Market Structure," Working Papers 368, Dipartimento Scienze Economiche, Universita' di Bologna.
  12. Curtis Eaton, B. & Schmitt, N., 1991. "Flexible Manufacturing and Market Structure," Papers 1991-02, Tasmania - Department of Economics.
  13. Kats, Amoz, 1995. "More on Hotelling's stability in competition," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, vol. 13(1), pages 89-93, March.
  14. 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).
  15. Norman, George & Thisse, Jacques-Francois, 1996. "Product Variety and Welfare under Tough and Soft Pricing Regimes," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 106(434), pages 76-91, January.
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