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Can a unilateral carbon tax reduce emissions elsewhere?

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  • Elliott, Joshua
  • Fullerton, Don

Abstract

One country or sector that tries to reduce greenhouse gas emissions may fear that other countries or sectors will get a competitive advantage and increase emissions. Computable general equilibrium (CGE) models such as Elliott et al. (2010a, 2010b) indicate that 15–25% of abatement might be offset by this “leakage.” Yet the Fullerton et al. (2012) simple two-sector analytical general equilibrium model shows an offsetting term with negative leakage. In this paper, we use a full CGE model with many countries and many goods to measure effects in a way that allows for this negative leakage term. We vary elasticities of substitution and confirm the analytical model's prediction that whether this negative leakage term offsets the positive leakage terms depends on the ability of consumers to substitute into the untaxed good relative to the ability of firms to substitute from carbon emissions into labor or capital.

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Resource and Energy Economics.

Volume (Year): 36 (2014)
Issue (Month): 1 ()
Pages: 6-21

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Handle: RePEc:eee:resene:v:36:y:2014:i:1:p:6-21

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Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/inca/505569

Related research

Keywords: Climate policy; Greenhouse gas emissions; Leakage; Abatement resource effect; Terms of trade effect;

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References

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  1. Christoph Böhringer & Thomas Rutherford, 2002. "Carbon Abatement and International Spillovers," Environmental & Resource Economics, European Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, vol. 22(3), pages 391-417, July.
  2. Don Fullerton & Dan Karney & Kathy Baylis, 2011. "Negative Leakage," CESifo Working Paper Series 3379, CESifo Group Munich.
  3. Babiker, Mustafa H., 2005. "Climate change policy, market structure, and carbon leakage," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 65(2), pages 421-445, March.
  4. Joshua Elliott & Ian Foster & Samuel Kortum & Todd Munson & Fernando Pérez Cervantes & David Weisbach, 2010. "Trade and Carbon Taxes," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 100(2), pages 465-69, May.
  5. Meredith L. Fowlie, 2009. "Incomplete Environmental Regulation, Imperfect Competition, and Emissions Leakage," American Economic Journal: Economic Policy, American Economic Association, vol. 1(2), pages 72-112, August.
  6. Elliott Joshua & Foster Ian & Judd Kenneth & Moyer Elisabeth & Munson Todd, 2010. "CIM-EARTH: Framework and Case Study," The B.E. Journal of Economic Analysis & Policy, De Gruyter, vol. 10(2), pages 1-34, December.
  7. Christoph Böhringer & Jared C. Carbone & Thomas F. Rutherford, 2013. "Embodied Carbon Tariffs," ZenTra Working Papers in Transnational Studies 25 / 2014, ZenTra - Center for Transnational Studies, revised Jan 2014.
  8. Corrado Di Maria & Edwin van der Werf, 2006. "Carbon Leakage Revisited: Unilateral Climate Policy with Directed Technical Change," Working Papers 2006.94, Fondazione Eni Enrico Mattei.
  9. Reyer Gerlagh & Onno Kuik, 2007. "Carbon Leakage with International Technology Spillovers," Working Papers 2007.33, Fondazione Eni Enrico Mattei.
  10. Copeland,B.R. & Taylor,M.S., 2000. "Free trade and global warming : a trade theory view of the Kyoto protocol," Working papers 4, Wisconsin Madison - Social Systems.
  11. Felder Stefan & Rutherford Thomas F., 1993. "Unilateral CO2 Reductions and Carbon Leakage: The Consequences of International Trade in Oil and Basic Materials," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 25(2), pages 162-176, September.
  12. Swee Chua, 2003. "Does tighter environmental policy lead to a comparative advantage in less polluting goods?," Oxford Economic Papers, Oxford University Press, vol. 55(1), pages 25-35, January.
  13. repec:old:wpaper:340 is not listed on IDEAS
  14. Golombek Rolf & Hoel Michael, 2004. "Unilateral Emission Reductions and Cross-Country Technology Spillovers," The B.E. Journal of Economic Analysis & Policy, De Gruyter, vol. 3(2), pages 1-27, September.
  15. Sergey V. Paltsev, 2001. "The Kyoto Protocol: Regional and Sectoral Contributions to the Carbon Leakage," The Energy Journal, International Association for Energy Economics, vol. 0(Number 4), pages 53-80.
  16. Nicole Gürtzgen & Michael Rauscher, 2000. "Environmental Policy, Intra-Industry Trade and Transfrontier Pollution," Environmental & Resource Economics, European Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, vol. 17(1), pages 59-71, September.
  17. Di Maria Corrado & Smulders Sjak A., 2005. "Trade Pessimists vs Technology Optimists: Induced Technical Change and Pollution Havens," The B.E. Journal of Economic Analysis & Policy, De Gruyter, vol. 3(2), pages 1-27, January.
  18. Winchester Niven & Paltsev Sergey & Reilly John M, 2011. "Will Border Carbon Adjustments Work?," The B.E. Journal of Economic Analysis & Policy, De Gruyter, vol. 11(1), pages 1-29, January.
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Cited by:
  1. Brock, William A. & Engström, Gustav & Grass, Dieter & Xepapadeas, Anastasios, 2013. "Energy balance climate models and general equilibrium optimal mitigation policies," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 37(12), pages 2371-2396.

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