Frequently a description that is clear in the mind of its author is not as clear to a reader. It is even worse when the reader finds the description clear but actually misunderstands the intention of the writer.
There are many such descriptions in economics. As social animals, economists learn from each other and copy each others phraseology - if I understood it, it is probably clear. However not all widespread phraseology is clear. A good example is in cooperative game theory, where Lloyd Shapley wrote a note titled 'Let's Block "Block"'. (If you read it be sure to read the footnote as well.) Shapley was among the originators of the phrase 'block' as used in cooperative game theory. But 'blocking' was actually a precisely defined mathematical concept in the science and as events unfolded it became clear that in some cases the popular meaning of the word conflicts with mathematical definition, resulting in Shapley's note.
After this introduction I will state my questions.
- Is it correct and/or useful to say that in a market where a per unit tax (or quantity tax) is levied on the good the suppliers push part of the tax onto the consumers?
- Is it correct and/or useful to say that in the same situation consumers and suppliers share the tax burden?