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Tax liability side equivalence in experimental posted-offer markets

  • Borck, Rainald
  • Engelmann, Dirk
  • Müller, Wieland
  • Normann, Hans-Theo

In theory, the incidence of a tax should be independent of which side of the market it is levied on. This principle of liability side equivalence underlies virtually all theories of tax incidence. Policy discussions, however, tend to place great emphasis on the legal division of tax payments. We use computerized experimental posted-offer markets to test liability side equivalence. We find that market outcomes are essentially the same when the tax is levied on sellers as when it is levied on buyers. Prices in both treatments are slightly above the competitive equilibrium. Thus we cannot reject liability side equivalence.

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Paper provided by Humboldt University of Berlin, Interdisciplinary Research Project 373: Quantification and Simulation of Economic Processes in its series SFB 373 Discussion Papers with number 2000,8.

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Date of creation: 2000
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Handle: RePEc:zbw:sfb373:20008
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  1. Guth, Werner & Schmittberger, Rolf & Schwarze, Bernd, 1982. "An experimental analysis of ultimatum bargaining," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 3(4), pages 367-388, December.
  2. Plott, Charles R., . "Industrial Organization Theory and Experimental Economics," Working Papers 405, California Institute of Technology, Division of the Humanities and Social Sciences.
  3. Quirmbach, Herman & Swenson, Charles & Vines, Cynthia, 1996. "An Experimental Examination of General Equilibrium Tax Incidence," Staff General Research Papers 5204, Iowa State University, Department of Economics.
  4. Bosco, Luigi & Mittone, Luigi, 1997. "Tax Evasion and Moral Constraints: Some Experimental Evidence," Kyklos, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 50(3), pages 297-324.
  5. Quirmbach, Herman C. & Swenson, Charles W. & Vines, Cynthia C., 1996. "An experimental examination of general equilibrium tax incidence," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 61(3), pages 337-358, September.
  6. W. Guth & R. Schmittberger & B. Schwartz, 2010. "An experimental analysis of ultimatum bargaining," Levine's Working Paper Archive 291, David K. Levine.
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