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Mixed oligopoly with consumer-friendly public firms

Roy Chowdhury, Prabal (2007): Mixed oligopoly with consumer-friendly public firms.

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Abstract

We consider a mixed oligopoly with a public firm that maximizes the sum of its own profits and consumers' surplus. We characterize the unique pure strategy equilibrium and show that as long as the cost function is not ``too concave'', privatization reduces welfare. We find that while the first best cannot be implemented using a tax/subsidy policy that is the same for all firms, a budget-balancing policy that involves a tax on the public firm, coupled with subsidies to the private firms, can do so. Further, the optimal tax/subsidy policy is critically dependent on whether there is privatization or not.

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