Behavioral and Distributional Effects of Environmental by Carlo Carraro, Gilbert E. Metcalf

By Carlo Carraro, Gilbert E. Metcalf

Most folk could agree that it is sensible to tax an organization that pollutes in a fashion that at once displays the quantity of environmental and social harm it has performed. but in perform, such taxes are fraught with hassle and feature far-reaching implications. an organization dealing with a brand new tax may well lay off employees, for instance, exacerbating an unemployment challenge. This quantity makes a speciality of such exterior matters and examines intimately the trade-offs interested in designing rules to accommodate environmental difficulties. Reflecting the wide nature of the topic, the participants comprise best economists within the components of public finance, business association, and exchange conception, in addition to environmental economists. Integrating either theoretical and empirical equipment, they learn environmental coverage layout because it pertains to place judgements, compliance charges, administrative charges, results on study and improvement, and foreign issue routine. laying off mild on a very complicated and critical subject, this assortment could be of curiosity to all these thinking about designing powerful environmental coverage.

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Using plausible parameters, the introduction of a tax on emissions raises welfare by more than twice as much as a tax on the output of the polluting industry. We find that the ability of producers to substitute away from emissions directly affects the cost of missing the target, but it does not affect the second-best optimal tax on output. In the case in which emissions cannot be taxed, perhaps for technological reasons, we find that the second-best output tax should still be set to obtain the same effect on output price as would occur with the desired but unavailable emissions tax.

Policy reforms to implement new taxes in those countries on goods associated with pollution are examples of scenario 2A, while proposals to increase the carbon taxes are examples of scenario 2B. We begin by developing the model in the case with preexisting taxes on either emissions or output, but we first consider only an incremental tax on output (tY). 1 Production The clean good is produced in a constant-returns-to-scale technology using only labor (LX) as an input:9 (1) X = LX . 9. Our model assumes one factor of production, for simplicity called “labor,” but under some circumstances this factor can be taken to represent a homogeneous composite of all clean resources used in production.

11 per liter in 1992. 5 Summary This brief survey of environmental taxes suggests that few taxes anywhere are precisely targeted taxes on emissions. 4 To some extent, however, the imprecise targeting may result when policymakers do not fully appreciate the costs of missing the target. 3 Prior Literature The literature on environmental taxes is extensive. Most papers, however, do not focus on the distinction between taxes on emissions and taxes on inputs or outputs that are imperfectly correlated with emissions.

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