NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH
NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH

NBER Working Papers by George Norman

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Working Papers

October 2006Product Differentiation and Film Programming Choice: Do First-Run Movie Theatres Show the Same Films?
with Darlene C. Chisholm, Margaret S. McMillan: w12646
We present an empirical analysis of product differentiation using a new dynamic panel data set on film programming choice in a major U.S. metropolitan motion-pictures exhibition market. Using these data, we compute two measures of film programming choice which allow us to investigate the determinants of strategic product differentiation in a multi-characteristics space. Our evidence is consistent with the idea that the degree of product differentiation between theatre pairs reflects a balance between strategic concerns and contractual constraints. Similarity in one dimension is offset by differentiation in others. Finally, we find that ownership matters: theatres under common ownership make more similar programming choices than theatres with different owners.
January 2003Oligopoly Deregulation and the Taxation of Commodities
with Gilbert E. Metcalf: w9415
We examine the interplay between market structure and the form that commodity taxation should take in a world in which firms produce differentiated products and so are able to exert some degree of market power. Our analysis takes explicit account of two important recent developments that carry significant implications for market structure and so for the appropriate design and effectiveness of commodity taxation: market deregulation and technological change. In the presence of price discrimination, we find that tax policy loses much of its effectiveness at serving as a substitute for direct regulation. Moreover, in cases where taxes can influence market structure, subsides rather than taxes may be required to achieve optimum market structure.
Oligopoly Deregulation in General Equilibrium: A Tax Neutralization Result
with Gilbert E. Metcalf: w9416
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 und...

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