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Choosing the right instrument

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  • Ronnie Schöb

Abstract

This paper analyses the optimal choice of second-best optimal environmental policies. Using a partial equilibrium model, the paper first reconfirms the well-known result that the existence of a double dividend (in its weak definition) favours environmental policy instruments which maximise tax revenues for a given improvement in environmental quality. Additional revenues can be used to reduce the distortion of existing taxes such as taxes on labour and capital income. Without uncertainty, environmental taxes and auctioned permits are equally appropriate. In the presence of uncertainty, however, the optimal choice of taxes or tradable permits depends on the relative magnitudes of the marginal environmental damage and the marginal benefit from consuming a polluting good. In the second part, the paper, therefore, analyses how the revenue capacity affects the optimal choice of environmental policy instruments in the presence of uncertainty. The paper shows that the first-best choice rule between price and quantity regulation (Weitzman, 1974) remains valid in a second-best world with distortionary taxation. Copyright Kluwer Academic Publishers 1996

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by European Association of Environmental and Resource Economists in its journal Environmental & Resource Economics.

Volume (Year): 8 (1996)
Issue (Month): 4 (December)
Pages: 399-416

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Handle: RePEc:kap:enreec:v:8:y:1996:i:4:p:399-416

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Web page: http://www.springerlink.com/link.asp?id=100263

Related research

Keywords: environmental taxes; tradable permits; excess burden; tax revenues; uncertainty; secondbest policy;

References

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  1. Lee, Dwight R. & Misiolek, Walter S., 1986. "Substituting pollution taxation for general taxation: Some implications for efficiency in pollutions taxation," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 13(4), pages 338-347, December.
  2. Boyd Roy & Krutilla Kerry & Viscusi W. Kip, 1995. "Energy Taxation as a Policy Instrument to Reduce CO2 Emissions: A Net Benefit Analysis," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 29(1), pages 1-24, July.
  3. Lawrence Goulder, 1995. "Environmental taxation and the double dividend: A reader's guide," International Tax and Public Finance, Springer, vol. 2(2), pages 157-183, August.
  4. John Pezzey, 1992. "The Symmetry between Controlling Pollution by Price and Controlling It by Quantity," Canadian Journal of Economics, Canadian Economics Association, vol. 25(4), pages 983-91, November.
  5. Spulber, Daniel F., 1985. "Effluent regulation and long-run optimality," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 12(2), pages 103-116, June.
  6. Bovenberg, A.L. & Van Der Ploeg, F., 1992. "Environmental Policy, Public Finance and the Labour Market in a Second- Best World," Papers 9243, Tilburg - Center for Economic Research.
  7. Fishelson, Gideon, 1976. "Emission control policies under uncertainty," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 3(3), pages 189-197, October.
  8. Adar, Zvi & Griffin, James M., 1976. "Uncertainty and the choice of pollution control instruments," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 3(3), pages 178-188, October.
  9. Montgomery, W. David, 1972. "Markets in licenses and efficient pollution control programs," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 5(3), pages 395-418, December.
  10. Bovenberg, A.L. & Mooij, R.A. de, 1994. "Environmental levies and distortionary taxation," Open Access publications from Tilburg University urn:nbn:nl:ui:12-152985, Tilburg University.
  11. Donald N. Dewees & W. A. Sims, 1976. "The Symmetry of Effluent Charges and Subsidies for Pollution Control," Canadian Journal of Economics, Canadian Economics Association, vol. 9(2), pages 323-31, May.
  12. Roberts, Marc J. & Spence, Michael, 1976. "Effluent charges and licenses under uncertainty," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 5(3-4), pages 193-208.
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Cited by:
  1. Don Fullerton & Gilbert Metcalf, 1997. "Environmental Controls, Scarcity Rents, and Pre-Existing Distortions," NBER Working Papers 6091, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. Konstantinos Angelopoulos & George Economides & Apostolis Philippopoulos, . "What is the best environmental policy? Taxes, permits and rules under economic and environmental uncertainty," DEOS Working Papers 1013, Athens University of Economics and Business.
  3. Ronnie Schöb, 2003. "The Double Dividend Hypothesis of Environmental Taxes: A Survey," Working Papers 2003.60, Fondazione Eni Enrico Mattei.
  4. Philippe Quirion, 2004. "Prices versus Quantities in a Second-Best Setting," Environmental & Resource Economics, European Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, vol. 29(3), pages 337-360, November.

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