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The welfare implications of climate change policy

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  • Leach, Andrew J.

Abstract

The response to three different climate change policies is measured within a general equilibrium model of world output, technological change, greenhouse gas emissions, and climate-driven changes in productivity. The proposed policies, including an approximation to the Kyoto protocol, are shown to differ greatly in how they mitigate climate change, support economic growth, and allocate rents across generations. Benefits of alternative policies, relative to the status quo, do not necessarily accrue to the generations that bear the costs. The results also show that the chosen rent distribution rule has a profound effect on policy evaluation. In particular, policies which allocate rents on a per-capita basis are shown to be systematically welfare-preferred to situations where emissions rights are grandfathered to emitting firms. This implies that both the optimal level of emissions and the welfare cost of reaching a given target of emissions or atmospheric concentration would be lower under a per-capita allocation of emissions permits or carbon tax revenues.

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Journal of Environmental Economics and Management.

Volume (Year): 57 (2009)
Issue (Month): 2 (March)
Pages: 151-165

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Handle: RePEc:eee:jeeman:v:57:y:2009:i:2:p:151-165

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Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/inca/622870

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Keywords: Climate change Environmental taxes Environmental regulation Welfare;

References

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  1. Burtraw, Dallas & Palmer, Karen & Bharvirkar, Ranjit & Paul, Anthony, 2002. "The Effect on Asset Values of the Allocation of Carbon Dioxide Emission Allowances," Discussion Papers dp-02-15-, Resources For the Future.
  2. Goulder, Lawrence H. & Mathai, Koshy, 2000. "Optimal CO2 Abatement in the Presence of Induced Technological Change," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 39(1), pages 1-38, January.
  3. Parry, Ian & Goulder, Lawrence & Williams III, Roberton, 1997. "When Can Carbon Abatement Policies Increase Welfare? The Fundamental Role of Distorted Factor Markets," Discussion Papers dp-97-18-rev, Resources For the Future.
  4. Parry, Ian, 2003. "Are Emissions Permits Regressive?," Discussion Papers dp-03-21, Resources For the Future.
  5. Gerlagh, Reyer & Keyzer, Michiel A., 2001. "Sustainability and the intergenerational distribution of natural resource entitlements," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 79(2), pages 315-341, February.
  6. Popp, David, 2004. "ENTICE: endogenous technological change in the DICE model of global warming," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 48(1), pages 742-768, July.
  7. Gerlagh, Reyer & van der Zwaan, B. C. C., 2001. "The effects of ageing and an environmental trust fund in an overlapping generations model on carbon emission reductions," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 36(2), pages 311-326, February.
  8. Kavuncu, Y. Okan & Knabb, Shawn D., 2005. "Stabilizing greenhouse gas emissions: Assessing the intergenerational costs and benefits of the Kyoto Protocol," Energy Economics, Elsevier, vol. 27(3), pages 369-386, May.
  9. Carolyn Fischer & Alan K. Fox, 2007. "Output-Based Allocation of Emissions Permits for Mitigating Tax and Trade Interactions," Land Economics, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 83(4), pages 575-599.
  10. Tobias Rasmussen, 2003. "Modeling the Economics of Greenhouse Gas Abatement: An Overlapping Generations Perspective," Review of Economic Dynamics, Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics, vol. 6(1), pages 99-119, January.
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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. Golosov, Mikhail & Hassler, John & Krusell, Per & Tsyvinski, Aleh, 2011. "Optimal taxes on fossil fuel in general equilibrium," CEPR Discussion Papers 8527, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  2. Cantore, Nicola, 2011. "Distributional aspects of emissions in climate change integrated assessment models," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 39(5), pages 2919-2924, May.
  3. Jérémy Laurent-Lucchetti & Andrew Leach, 2006. "Induced innovation in a decentralized model of climate change," Cahiers de recherche 06-02, HEC Montréal, Institut d'économie appliquée.
  4. Olivier Bahn & Andrew Leach, 2008. "The secondary benefits of climate change mitigation: an overlapping generations approach," Computational Management Science, Springer, vol. 5(3), pages 233-257, May.

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