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Multi-Dimensional Pass-Through, Incidence, and the Welfare Burden of Taxation in Oligopoly

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  • Takanori Adachi

    (School of Economics, Nagoya University,)

  • Michal Fabinger

    (Faculty of Economics, The University of Tokyo)

Abstract

This paper studies welfare consequences of unit and ad valorem taxes in oligopoly with general demand, non-constant marginal costs, and a generalized type of competition. We present formulas providing connections between marginal cost of public funds, tax incidence, unit tax pass-through, ad valorem tax pass-through, and other economic quantities of interest. First, in the case of symmetric firms, we show that there exists a simple, empirically relevant set of sufficient statistics for the marginal cost of public funds, namely the pass-through and the industry demand elasticity. Specializing to the case of price or quantity competition, we show how marginal cost of public funds and pass-through are expressed using elasticities and curvatures of demand and inverse demand. These results also apply to symmetric oligopoly with multi-product firms. Second, we present a generalization with the tax revenue function specified as a general function parameterized by a vector of tax parameters. We analyze multi-dimensional pass-through, generalizing the results of Weyl and Fabinger (2013), and show that it is crucial for evaluating welfare changes in response to changes in taxation. Finally, we generalize our results to the case of heterogeneous firms, as well as to the case of changes in both production costs and taxes.

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  • Takanori Adachi & Michal Fabinger, 2017. "Multi-Dimensional Pass-Through, Incidence, and the Welfare Burden of Taxation in Oligopoly," CIRJE F-Series CIRJE-F-1043, CIRJE, Faculty of Economics, University of Tokyo.
  • Handle: RePEc:tky:fseres:2017cf1043
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