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Optimal environmental taxation, R&D subsidization and the role of market conduct


  • Joanna Poyago-Theotoky


This paper examines the optimal environmental policy in a differentiated goods duopoly with either price- or quantity-setting firms, where firms invest in environmental R&D that reduces emissions. It is shown that in quantity (Cournot) competition, the emission tax is always lower than marginal damages. With price (Bertrand) competition, the emission tax is generally lower than marginal damages. However, for the case of very undifferentiate products, the emission tax is equal to marginal damages, that is it approaches the first-best tax. Moreover, the Cornot emission tax is always lower than the Bertrand emission tax. Concerning the R&D subsidy, the comparison crucially depends on the degree of product differentiation in the initial emissions coeffiecient.

Suggested Citation

  • Joanna Poyago-Theotoky, 2003. "Optimal environmental taxation, R&D subsidization and the role of market conduct," Discussion Paper Series, Department of Economics 200309, Department of Economics, University of St. Andrews.
  • Handle: RePEc:san:wpecon:0309

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Jaskold Gabszewicz, Jean & Vial, Jean-Philippe, 1972. "Oligopoly "A la cournot" in a general equilibrium analysis," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 4(3), pages 381-400, June.
    2. d'Aspremont, Claude & Jacquemin, Alexis, 1988. "Cooperative and Noncooperative R&D in Duopoly with Spillovers," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 78(5), pages 1133-1137, December.
    3. Barnett, A H, 1980. "The Pigouvian Tax Rule under Monopoly," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 70(5), pages 1037-1041, December.
    4. Shaffer, Sherrill, 1995. "Optimal Linear Taxation of Polluting Oligopolists," Journal of Regulatory Economics, Springer, vol. 7(1), pages 85-100, January.
    5. Barbara J. Spencer & James A. Brander, 1983. "International R & D Rivalry and Industrial Strategy," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 50(4), pages 707-722.
    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. Buchanan, James M, 1969. "External Diseconomies, Corrective Taxes, and Market Structure," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 59(1), pages 174-177, March.
    8. Baumol,William J. & Oates,Wallace E., 1988. "The Theory of Environmental Policy," Cambridge Books, Cambridge University Press, number 9780521322249, March.
    9. Katsoulacos, Yannis & Xepapadeas, Anastasios, 1995. " Environmental Policy under Oligopoly with Endogenous Market Structure," Scandinavian Journal of Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 97(3), pages 411-420, September.
    10. Novshek, William & Sonnenschein, Hugo, 1978. "Cournot and Walras equilibrium," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 19(2), pages 223-266, December.
    11. Lee, Sang-Ho, 1999. "Optimal Taxation for Polluting Oligopolists with Endogenous Market Structure," Journal of Regulatory Economics, Springer, vol. 15(3), pages 293-308, May.
    12. Poyago-Theotoky, Joanna & Teerasuwannajak, Khemarat, 2002. "The Timing of Environmental Policy: A Note on the Role of Product Differentiation," Journal of Regulatory Economics, Springer, vol. 21(3), pages 305-316, May.
    13. Nirvikar Singh & Xavier Vives, 1984. "Price and Quantity Competition in a Differentiated Duopoly," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 15(4), pages 546-554, Winter.
    14. Beath, John & Katsoulacos, Yannis & Ulph, David, 1989. "Strategic R&D Policy," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 99(395), pages 74-83, Supplemen.
    15. Ulph, Alistair, 1996. "Environmental Policy and International Trade when Governments and Producers Act Strategically," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 30(3), pages 265-281, May.
    16. R. Simpson, 1995. "Optimal pollution taxation in a Cournot duopoly," Environmental & Resource Economics, Springer;European Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, vol. 6(4), pages 359-369, December.
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    Cited by:

    1. Manel Antelo, 2005. "Double informational asymmetry, signaling, and environmental taxes," Economic Working Papers at Centro de Estudios Andaluces E2005/25, Centro de Estudios Andaluces.
    2. repec:bla:jpbect:v:19:y:2017:i:4:p:841-859 is not listed on IDEAS
    3. Rupayan Pal, 2012. "Delegation And Emission Tax In A Differentiated Oligopoly," Manchester School, University of Manchester, vol. 80(6), pages 650-670, December.
    4. Stefan Lutz & Mario Pezzino, 2010. "Mixed oligopoly, vertical product differentiation and fixed qualitydependent costs," The School of Economics Discussion Paper Series 1015, Economics, The University of Manchester.
    5. Stuart McDonald & Joanna Poyago-Theotoky, 2012. "Research Joint Ventures and Optimal Emissions Taxation," Discussion Papers Series 455, School of Economics, University of Queensland, Australia.
    6. Stefan Lutz & Mario Pezzino, 2014. "Vertically Differentiated Mixed Oligopoly with Quality-dependent Fixed Costs," Manchester School, University of Manchester, vol. 82(5), pages 596-619, September.
    7. Joanna Poyago-Theotoky & Stuart McDonald, 2012. "Green Technology, Research Joint Ventures and Emissions Taxation?," Working Papers 2012.06, School of Economics, La Trobe University.
    8. Flavio M. Menezes & Jorge Pereira, 2017. "Emissions abatement R&D: Dynamic competition in supply schedules," Journal of Public Economic Theory, Association for Public Economic Theory, vol. 19(4), pages 841-859, August.

    More about this item


    environmental R&D; emission tax; R&D subsidy; differentiated goods; Cournot competition; Bertrand competition.;

    JEL classification:

    • Q28 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Renewable Resources and Conservation - - - Government Policy
    • O38 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Innovation; Research and Development; Technological Change; Intellectual Property Rights - - - Government Policy
    • H29 - Public Economics - - Taxation, Subsidies, and Revenue - - - Other
    • L13 - Industrial Organization - - Market Structure, Firm Strategy, and Market Performance - - - Oligopoly and Other Imperfect Markets

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