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Green Tax Reform and Two-Component Unemployment: Double Dividend or Double Loss?

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  • Max Albert
  • Jürgen Meckl

Abstract

The double-dividend argument (as used in political debates) addresses worries that a green tax may lead to higher unemployment when wages are inflexible. As protection against this possibility, it is proposed to use the green-tax proceeds to reduce the total tax burden of labor. Ideally, this protects the environment and reduces unemployment (double dividend). However, even if the main cause of unemployment is a minimum wage, an additional efficiency-wage component (which explains certain stylized facts) can dominate employment effects. In the worst case, this leads to a "double loss," which is impossible under pure minimum-wage unemployment.

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Article provided by Mohr Siebeck, Tübingen in its journal Journal of Institutional and Theoretical Economics.

Volume (Year): 157 (2001)
Issue (Month): 2 (June)
Pages: 265-

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Handle: RePEc:mhr:jinste:urn:sici:0932-4569(200106)157:2_265:gtratu_2.0.tx_2-1

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  1. Erkki Koskela & Ronnie Schöb & Hans-Werner Sinn, 1998. "Pollution, Factor Taxation and Unemployment," International Tax and Public Finance, Springer, vol. 5(3), pages 379-396, July.
  2. Erkki Koskela & Hans-Werner Sinn & Ronnie Schöb, 2001. "Green Tax Reform and Competitiveness," German Economic Review, Verein für Socialpolitik, vol. 2(1), pages 19-30, 02.
  3. Akerlof, George A, 1982. "Labor Contracts as Partial Gift Exchange," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 97(4), pages 543-69, November.
  4. Koskela, Erkki & Schob, Ronnie, 1999. "Alleviating unemployment:: The case for green tax reforms," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 43(9), pages 1723-1746, October.
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  6. Bovenberg, A Lans & van der Ploeg, Frederick, 1998. " Tax Reform, Structural Unemployment and the Environment," Scandinavian Journal of Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 100(3), pages 593-610, September.
  7. Krueger, Alan B & Summers, Lawrence H, 1988. "Efficiency Wages and the Inter-industry Wage Structure," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 56(2), pages 259-93, March.
  8. Schlicht, Ekkehart, 1992. "Wage Generosity," Munich Reprints in Economics 3165, University of Munich, Department of Economics.
  9. Schneider, Kerstin, 1997. " Involuntary Unemployment and Environmental Policy: The Double Dividend Hypothesis," Scandinavian Journal of Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 99(1), pages 45-49, March.
  10. A. Bovenberg, 1998. "Environmental Taxes and the Double Dividend," Empirica, Springer, vol. 25(1), pages 15-35, January.
  11. Bovenberg, A. Lans & van der Ploeg, Frederick, 1996. "Optimal taxation, public goods and environmental policy with involuntary unemployment," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 62(1-2), pages 59-83, October.
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