The Size Distribution of Firms, Cournot, and Optimal Taxation

Author/Editor:

Mark Gersovitz

Publication Date:

December 1, 2006

Electronic Access:

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Disclaimer: This Working Paper should not be reported as representing the views of the IMF.The views expressed in this Working Paper are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily represent those of the IMF or IMF policy. Working Papers describe research in progress by the author(s) and are published to elicit comments and to further debate

Summary:

Tax laws and administrations often treat different size firms differently. There is, however, little research on the consequences. As modeled here, oligopolists with different efficiencies determine the size distribution of firms. A government that maximizes a weighted sum of consumer surplus, profits, and tax receipts can tax firms with different efficiencies differently and provides a reference point for other, more restricted differential tax systems. Taxes include a specific sales tax, an ad valorem sales tax, and a profits tax with imperfect deductibility of capital cost, and a combination of the last two. In general there is a pattern of tax rates by efficiency of firm. It is heavily dependent on the social valuation of tax receipts. Analytic and simulation results are provided. When both ad valorem taxes and the imperfect profits tax are combined, simulations suggest that the former rate is higher and the latter rate is lower for relatively inefficient firms.

Series:

Working Paper No. 06/271

Subject:

English

Publication Date:

December 1, 2006

ISBN/ISSN:

9781451865318/1018-5941

Stock No:

WPIEA2006271

Format:

Paper

Pages:

26

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