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The implications for households of environmental tax reform (ETR) in Europe

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  • Ekins, Paul
  • Pollitt, Hector
  • Barton, Jennifer
  • Blobel, Daniel
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    Abstract

    The paper discusses the distributional implications of environmental tax reform (ETR) for households, and presents new results from modelling the impacts of a major ETR for the European Union. The distributional effects arise from the new environmental taxes, any tax reductions made as part of the ETR, the wider macroeconomic impacts from the ETR, any special provisions in the ETR, and the environmental benefits from the ETR. The paper's literature review makes clear that while the impacts from taxes on the household use of energy are very often regressive, transport taxes tend not to be, although the impacts differ between urban and rural households. Moreover, the net distributional impact is often less regressive, or not at all, once the wider distributional effects are taken into account. Residual regressive effects can in principle be removed by further adjustments in the tax or benefits system. The modelling results suggest that an ETR in Europe will actually increase real incomes across the EU as a whole, and will not be generally regressive, although the results differ by country and for different socio-economic groups. The political acceptability of ETR may depend on the worst effects on these groups being mitigated in some way.

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    File URL: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0921800911003375
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    Bibliographic Info

    Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Ecological Economics.

    Volume (Year): 70 (2011)
    Issue (Month): 12 ()
    Pages: 2472-2485

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    Handle: RePEc:eee:ecolec:v:70:y:2011:i:12:p:2472-2485

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    Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/ecolecon

    Related research

    Keywords: Environmental tax reform; Distributional impacts; European Union; Econometric modelling;

    References

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    1. Wier, Mette & Birr-Pedersen, Katja & Jacobsen, Henrik Klinge & Klok, Jacob, 2005. "Are CO2 taxes regressive? Evidence from the Danish experience," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 52(2), pages 239-251, January.
    2. Matteo Manera & Chiara Longo & Anil Markandya & Elisa Scarpa, 2007. "Evaluating the Empirical Performance of Alternative Econometric Models for Oil Price Forecasting," Working Papers 2007.4, Fondazione Eni Enrico Mattei.
    3. Chevillon, Guillaume & Rifflart, Christine, 2007. "Physical Market Determinants of the Price of Crude Oil and the Market Premium," ESSEC Working Papers DR 07020, ESSEC Research Center, ESSEC Business School.
    4. Stefan Bach, 1997. "Steuerreform in Deutschland," Vierteljahrshefte zur Wirtschaftsforschung / Quarterly Journal of Economic Research, DIW Berlin, German Institute for Economic Research, vol. 66(3-4), pages 291-316.
    5. Bach, Stefan & Kohlhaas, Michael & Meyer, Bernd & Praetorius, Barbara & Welsch, Heinz, 2002. "The effects of environmental fiscal reform in Germany: a simulation study," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 30(9), pages 803-811, July.
    6. Terry Barker & Jonathan Köhler, 1998. "Equity and ecotax reform in the EU: achieving a 10 per cent reduction in CO2 emissions using excise duties," Fiscal Studies, Institute for Fiscal Studies, vol. 19(4), pages 375-402, November.
    7. Stefan Bach, 2009. "Zehn Jahre ökologische Steuerreform: finanzpolitisch erfolgreich, klimapolitisch halbherzig," DIW Wochenbericht, DIW Berlin, German Institute for Economic Research, vol. 76(14), pages 218-227.
    8. Speck, Stefan, 1999. "Energy and carbon taxes and their distributional implications," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 27(11), pages 659-667, October.
    9. Brannlund, Runar & Nordstrom, Jonas, 2004. "Carbon tax simulations using a household demand model," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 48(1), pages 211-233, February.
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    Citations

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    Cited by:
    1. Habla, Wolfgang & Roeder, Kerstin, 2013. "Intergenerational aspects of ecotax reforms - An application to Germany," Munich Reprints in Economics 20469, University of Munich, Department of Economics.
    2. Costantini, Valeria & D'Amato, Alessio & Martini, Chiara & Tommasino, Maria Cristina & Valentini, Edilio & Zoli, Mariangela, 2013. "Taxing international emissions trading," Energy Economics, Elsevier, vol. 40(C), pages 609-621.
    3. Roeder, Kerstin & Habla, Wolfgang, 2012. "The Political Sustainability of Germany's Environmental Tax Rate," Annual Conference 2012 (Goettingen): New Approaches and Challenges for the Labor Market of the 21st Century 62060, Verein für Socialpolitik / German Economic Association.
    4. Xaquín Garcia-Muros & Mercedes Burguillo & Mikel Gonzalez-Eguino & Desiderio Romero-Jordán, 2014. "Local air pollution and global climate change taxes: a distributional analysis," Working Papers 2014-01, BC3.

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