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Six Distributional Effects of Environmental Policy

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  • Don Fullerton

Abstract

While prior literature has identified various effects of environmental policy, this note uses the example of a proposed carbon permit system to illustrate and discuss six different types of distributional effects: (1) higher prices of carbon-intensive products, (2) changes in relative returns to factors like labor, capital, and resources, (3) allocation of scarcity rents from a restricted number of permits, (4) distribution of the benefits from improvements in environmental quality, (5) temporary effects during the transition, and (6) capitalization of all those effects into prices of land, corporate stock, or house values. The note also discusses whether all six effects could be regressive, that is, whether carbon policy could place disproportionate burden on the poor.

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Paper provided by CESifo Group Munich in its series CESifo Working Paper Series with number 3299.

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Date of creation: 2010
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Handle: RePEc:ces:ceswps:_3299

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Keywords: tax incidence; climate policy; capitalization effects; general equilibrium;

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References

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  1. Olivier Deschênes & Michael Greenstone, 2007. "Climate Change, Mortality, and Adaptation: Evidence from Annual Fluctuations in Weather in the US," NBER Working Papers 13178, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. Olivier Deschenes, 2010. "Climate Policy and Labor Markets," NBER Working Papers 16111, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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Cited by:
  1. Haradhan Kumar Mohajan, 2011. "Optimal Environmental Taxes Due to Health Effect," KASBIT Journal of Management & Social Science, Khadim Ali Shah Bukhari Institute of Technology (KASBIT), Khadim Ali Shah Bukhari Institute of Technology (KASBIT), vol. 4, pages 1-19, December.
  2. Mohajan, Haradhan, 2011. "Optimal Environmental Taxes Due to Health Effect," MPRA Paper 50672, University Library of Munich, Germany, revised 17 Apr 2011.
  3. Toon Vandyck, 2013. "Efficiency and equity aspects of energy taxation," ERSA conference papers ersa13p945, European Regional Science Association.
  4. Grainger, Corbett A., 2012. "The distributional effects of pollution regulations: Do renters fully pay for cleaner air?," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, Elsevier, vol. 96(9-10), pages 840-852.
  5. Terry Dinan, 2012. "Offsetting a Carbon Tax’s Costs on Low-Income Households: Working Paper 2012-16," Working Papers, Congressional Budget Office 43713, Congressional Budget Office.
  6. Pashardes, Panos & Pashourtidou, Nicoletta & Zachariadis, Theodoros, 2014. "Estimating welfare aspects of changes in energy prices from preference heterogeneity," Energy Economics, Elsevier, Elsevier, vol. 42(C), pages 58-66.

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