Stuart McDonald & Joanna Poyago-Theotoky, School of Economics Discussion Paper No. 455 February 2012, School of Economics, The University of Queensland. Australia.


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This paper performs a comparison of two well known approaches for modelling R&D spillovers associated with investment in E-R&D, namely dAspremont-Jacquemin and Kamien-Muller-Zang. We show that there is little qualitative difference between the models in terms of total surplus delivered when selecting the optimal tax regime when there is precommitment under cooperative regimes in which firms coordinate expenditures to maximize joint profits. However, under non-cooperative regimes there is marked difference, with the model of Kamien- Muller-Zang leading to higher taxation rates when firms share information. Furthermore, we argue that the Kamien-Muller-Zang model is of questionable validity when modelling R&D on emissions reducing technology due to counter intuitive results showing a positive relationhip between R&D spillovers and emissions taxes.