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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 Department of Economics, Tufts University in its series Discussion Papers Series, Department of Economics, Tufts University with number 0210.

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Date of creation: 2002
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Handle: RePEc:tuf:tuftec:0210
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  1. 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).
  2. CREMER, Helmut & THISSE, Jacques-François, 1992. "Commodity taxation in a differentiated oligopoly," CORE Discussion Papers 1992035, Université catholique de Louvain, Center for Operations Research and Econometrics (CORE).
  3. Norman,George & Thisse,Jacques-François (ed.), 2000. "Market Structure and Competition Policy," Cambridge Books, Cambridge University Press, number 9780521783330, May.
  4. 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).
  5. 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.
  6. Armstrong, Mark & Vickers, John, 1993. "Price Discrimination, Competition and Regulation," Journal of Industrial Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 41(4), pages 335-59, December.
  7. Kats, Amoz, 1995. "More on Hotelling's stability in competition," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, vol. 13(1), pages 89-93, March.
  8. Novshek, William, 1980. "Equilibrium in simple spatial (or differentiated product) models," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 22(2), pages 313-326, April.
  9. Gilbert E. Metcalf & George Norman, 2002. "Oligopoly Deregulation and the Taxation of Commodities," Discussion Papers Series, Department of Economics, Tufts University 0209, Department of Economics, Tufts University.
  10. Eaton, B Curtis & Schmitt, Nicolas, 1994. "Flexible Manufacturing and Market Structure," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 84(4), pages 875-88, September.
  11. S. Baranzoni & P. Bianchi & L. Lambertini, 2000. "Market Structure," Working Papers 368, Dipartimento Scienze Economiche, Universita' di Bologna.
  12. Thisse, J.-F. & Vives, X., 1987. "On the strategic choice of spatial price policy," CORE Discussion Papers 1987008, Université catholique de Louvain, Center for Operations Research and Econometrics (CORE).
  13. 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.
  14. Steven C. Salop, 1979. "Monopolistic Competition with Outside Goods," Bell Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 10(1), pages 141-156, Spring.
  15. 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.
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