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How Should Environmental Policy Respond to Business Cycles? Optimal Policy under Persistent Productivity Shocks

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  • Garth Heutel

    (University of North Carolina Greensboro)

Abstract

How should environmental policy respond to economic fluctuations caused by persistent productivity shocks? This paper answers that question using a dynamic stochastic general equilibrium real business cycle model that includes a pollution externality. I first estimate the relationship between the cyclical components of carbon dioxide emissions and US GDP and find it to be inelastic. Using this result to calibrate the model, I find that optimal policy allows carbon emissions to be procyclical: increasing during expansions and decreasing during recessions. However, optimal policy dampens the procyclicality of emissions compared to the unregulated case. A price effect from costlier abatement during booms outweighs an income effect of greater demand for clean air. I also model a decentralized economy, where government chooses an emissions tax or quantity restriction and firms and consumers respond. The optimal emissions tax rate and the optimal emissions quota are both procyclical: during recessions, the tax rate and the emissions quota both decrease. (Copyright: Elsevier)

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File URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.red.2011.05.002
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Article provided by Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics in its journal Review of Economic Dynamics.

Volume (Year): 15 (2012)
Issue (Month): 2 (April)
Pages: 244-264

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Handle: RePEc:red:issued:10-62

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Keywords: Climate change; Environmental policy;

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References

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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. Konstantinos Angelopoulos & George Economides & Apostolis Philippopoulos, 2013. "First-and second-best allocations under economic and environmental uncertainty," International Tax and Public Finance, Springer, vol. 20(3), pages 360-380, June.
  2. Barbara Annicchiarico & Fabio di Dio, 2013. "Environmental Policy and Macroeconomic Dynamics in a New Keynesian Model," CEIS Research Paper 286, Tor Vergata University, CEIS, revised 30 Sep 2013.
  3. Flues, Florens & Löschel, Andreas & Lutz, Benjamin Johannes & Schenker, Oliver, 2013. "Ups and downs: How economic growth affects policy interactions," ZEW Discussion Papers 13-066, ZEW - Zentrum für Europäische Wirtschaftsforschung / Center for European Economic Research.
  4. Rhodes, M. Taylor, 2013. "Pigskin, Tailgating and Pollution: Estimating the Environmental Impacts of Sporting Events," Working Papers 13-19, University of North Carolina at Greensboro, Department of Economics.
  5. Garth Heutel & Carolyn Fischer, 2013. "Environmental Macroeconomics: Environmental Policy, Business Cycles, and Directed Technical Change," NBER Working Papers 18794, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  6. Valentina Bosetti & Marco Maffezzoli, 2013. "Taxing Carbon under Market Incompleteness," Working Papers 2013.72, Fondazione Eni Enrico Mattei.
  7. Baran Doda, 2012. "Evidence on CO2 emissions and business cycles," Grantham Research Institute on Climate Change and the Environment Working Papers 78, Grantham Research Institute on Climate Change and the Environment.
  8. Garth Heutel & Christopher J. Ruhm, 2013. "Air Pollution and Procyclical Mortality," NBER Working Papers 18959, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  9. Fischer, Carolyn & Springborn, Michael, 2011. "Emissions targets and the real business cycle: Intensity targets versus caps or taxes," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 62(3), pages 352-366.
  10. Doda, Baran, 2014. "Evidence on business cycles and CO2 emissions," Journal of Macroeconomics, Elsevier, vol. 40(C), pages 214-227.
  11. Lintunen , Jussi & Vilmi, Lauri, 2013. "On optimal emission control – Taxes, substitution and business cycles," Research Discussion Papers 24/2013, Bank of Finland.
  12. Yazid Dissou & Lilia Karnizova, 2012. "Emissions Cap or Emissions Tax? A Multi-sector Business Cycle Analysis," Working Papers 1210E, University of Ottawa, Department of Economics.
  13. John Parsons & Luca Taschini, 2013. "The Role of Stocks and Shocks Concepts in the Debate Over Price Versus Quantity," Environmental & Resource Economics, European Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, vol. 55(1), pages 71-86, May.
  14. Baran Doda, 2013. "Emissions-GDP Relationship in Times of Growth and Decline," Grantham Research Institute on Climate Change and the Environment Working Papers 116, Grantham Research Institute on Climate Change and the Environment.
  15. Traeger, Christian, 2013. "A 4-stated DICE: quantitatively addressing uncertainty effects in climate change," Department of Agricultural & Resource Economics, UC Berkeley, Working Paper Series qt9034k05t, Department of Agricultural & Resource Economics, UC Berkeley.
  16. Dimitrios Varvarigos, 2013. "Economic Growth, Health, and the Choice of Polluting Technologies: The Role of Bureaucratic Corruption," Discussion Papers in Economics 13/22, Department of Economics, University of Leicester.
  17. Gary D. Libecap, 2013. "Addressing Global Environmental Externalities: Transaction Costs Considerations," NBER Working Papers 19501, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.

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