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Is there a case for carbon-based border tax adjustment? An applied general equilibrium analysis

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  • Jean-Marc Burniaux
  • Jean Chateau
  • Romain Duval

Abstract

Concern that unilateral Greenhouse Gas (GHG) emission reductions could foster carbon leakage and undermine the international competitiveness of domestic industry has led to growing calls for carbon-based Border-Tax Adjustments (BTAs). This article uses a global general equilibrium model to assess the economic effects of BTAs and comes to three main conclusions. First, BTAs can reduce carbon leakage if the coalition of countries taking action to reduce GHG emissions is small, because in this case leakage (while typically small) mainly occurs through international trade competitiveness losses rather than through declines in world fossil fuel prices. Second, even though the economic effects of BTAs vary somewhat depending on how they are implemented, their welfare impact is typically small, and slightly negative at the world level. Third, and perhaps more strikingly, BTAs do not necessarily curb the output losses incurred by the domestic Energy Intensive-Industries (EIIs) they are intended to protect in the first place. This is in part because EIIs in industrialized countries make important use of carbon-intensive intermediate inputs produced by EIIs in other geographical areas. Another, deeper explanation is that EIIs are ultimately more adversely affected by the existence of a carbon price itself than by any international competitiveness losses. These findings are shown to be robust to key model parameters, country coverage, targets and design features of BTAs.

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by Taylor & Francis Journals in its journal Applied Economics.

Volume (Year): 45 (2013)
Issue (Month): 16 (June)
Pages: 2231-2240

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Handle: RePEc:taf:applec:45:y:2013:i:16:p:2231-2240

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Cited by:
  1. Bao, Qin & Tang, Ling & Zhang, ZhongXiang & Wang, Shouyang, 2013. "Impacts of border carbon adjustments on China's sectoral emissions: Simulations with a dynamic computable general equilibrium model," China Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 24(C), pages 77-94.
  2. Karl Steininger & Christian Lininger & Susanne Droege & Dominic Roser & Luke Tomlinson, 2012. "Towards a Just and Cost-Effective Climate Policy: On the relevance and implications of deciding between a Production versus Consumption Based Approach," Graz Economics Papers 2012-06, University of Graz, Department of Economics.
  3. Christoph Böhringer & Carolyn Fischer & Knut Einar Rosendahl, 2011. "Cost-effective unilateral climate policy design: Size Matters," Discussion Papers 664, Research Department of Statistics Norway.
  4. Christian Lininger, 2013. "Consumption-Based Approaches in International Climate Policy: An Analytical Evaluation of the Implications for Cost-Effectiveness, Carbon Leakage, and the International Income Distribution," Graz Economics Papers 2013-03, University of Graz, Department of Economics.
  5. Daniel Becker & Magdalena Brezskot & Wolfgang Peters & Ulrike Will, 2013. "Grenzausgleichsinstrumente bei unilateralen Klimaschutzmaßnahmen. Eine ökonomische und WTO-rechtliche Analyse," Discussion Paper Series RECAP15 010, RECAP15, European University Viadrina, Frankfurt (Oder).
  6. Irfanoglu, Zeynep Burcu & Golub, Alla A. & Hertel, Thomas W. & Henderson, Benjamin B., 2012. "Effects of carbon-based border tax adjustments on carbon leakage and competitiveness in livestock sectors," 2012 Annual Meeting, August 12-14, 2012, Seattle, Washington 125006, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association.
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  8. Michael Jakob & Robert Marschinski & Michael Hübler, 2013. "Between a Rock and a Hard Place: A Trade-Theory Analysis of Leakage Under Production- and Consumption-Based Policies," Environmental & Resource Economics, European Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, vol. 56(1), pages 47-72, September.

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