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Quality standards versus nutritional taxes: Health and welfare impacts with strategic firms

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  • Réquillart, Vincent
  • Soler, Louis-Georges
  • Zang, Yu

Abstract

The goal of this paper is to better understand firms' strategic reactions to nutritional policies targeting food quality improvements and to derive optimal policies. We propose a model of product differentiation, taking into account the taste and health characteristics of products. We study how two firms react to alternative policies: an MQS policy, linear taxation of the two goods on the market, and taxation of the lowquality good. The MQS and the taxation of the low-quality product are the preferred options by a social planner. If taste is moderately important, the MQS policy is chosen by a populist and a paternalist social planner. If taste is a major component of choice, the populist planner chooses to tax the low-quality product whereas the paternalist planner prefers the MQS policy. Finally, for a paternalist social planner, an MQS-based policy always allows for higher levels of welfare than an information policy alone.

Suggested Citation

  • Réquillart, Vincent & Soler, Louis-Georges & Zang, Yu, 2015. "Quality standards versus nutritional taxes: Health and welfare impacts with strategic firms," TSE Working Papers 15-594, Toulouse School of Economics (TSE), revised Sep 2016.
  • Handle: RePEc:tse:wpaper:29587
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Taxation; MQS; Product differentiation; Strategic pricing; Nutritional policy;

    JEL classification:

    • I18 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health - - - Government Policy; Regulation; Public Health
    • L13 - Industrial Organization - - Market Structure, Firm Strategy, and Market Performance - - - Oligopoly and Other Imperfect Markets
    • Q18 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Agriculture - - - Agricultural Policy; Food Policy

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