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CO 2-stabilization may be a ‘no-regrets’ policy

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  • Lars Håkonsen
  • Lars Mathiesen
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    Abstract

    Restricting CO 2 emissions requires changing today's consumption pattern away from energy and emission intensive commodities towards cleaner goods. The cost of stabilizing CO 2 emissions at the 1990 level by the year 2000, say, as compared to a business-as-usual trend, is estimated by several researchers to be on the order of 1% of GNP. We will argue that the cost may be overestimated because of a too simple model describing the working of the economic system and the evaluation of welfare. We demonstrate that by expanding a model to include the actual tax system and negative externalities, the cost to present generations from restricting emissions by a CO 2 tax may be negative. That is, some reduction may actually correspond to a ‘no-regrets’ policy. The reasons are inefficiencies in today's tax system and non-optimal handling of negative externalities. Our analysis suggests that a CO 2 tax and reduced emissions will lessen such inefficiencies. Copyright Kluwer Academic Publishers 1997

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    File URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10.1007/BF02441377
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    Bibliographic Info

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

    Volume (Year): 9 (1997)
    Issue (Month): 2 (March)
    Pages: 171-198

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    Handle: RePEc:kap:enreec:v:9:y:1997:i:2:p:171-198

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

    Related research

    Keywords: CO 2 regulation; green tax reform; negative externalities; general equilibrium analysis;

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    1. Nordhaus, William D, 1993. "Optimal Greenhouse-Gas Reductions and Tax Policy in the "Dice" Model," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 83(2), pages 313-17, May.
    2. William D. Nordhaus & James Tobin, 1973. "Is Growth Obsolete?," NBER Chapters, in: The Measurement of Economic and Social Performance, pages 509-564 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
      • William D. Nordhaus & James Tobin, 1972. "Is Growth Obsolete?," NBER Chapters, in: Economic Research: Retrospect and Prospect Vol 5: Economic Growth, pages 1-80 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    3. Goulder Lawrence H., 1995. "Effects of Carbon Taxes in an Economy with Prior Tax Distortions: An Intertemporal General Equilibrium Analysis," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 29(3), pages 271-297, November.
    4. 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.
    5. de Bovenberg, A Lans & Mooij, Ruud A, 1994. "Environmental Levies and Distortionary Taxation," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 84(4), pages 1085-89, September.
    6. Carraro, Carlo & Galeotti, Marzio & Gallo, Massimo, 1996. "Environmental taxation and unemployment: Some evidence on the 'double dividend hypothesis' in Europe," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 62(1-2), pages 141-181, October.
    7. Anne Brendemoen & Haakon Vennemo, 1994. "A Climate Treaty and the Norwegian Economy: A CGE Assessment," The Energy Journal, International Association for Energy Economics, vol. 0(Number 1), pages 77-93.
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