The Importance of Habit Formation for Environmental Taxation
AbstractWe analyze how habit formation affects optimal environmental taxation, when consumption of a habitual good causes a negative external effect on the environment. In a simple two-period model, we show that optimal taxation is still Pigouvian, where tax rates equal marginal damage in each period. However, the magnitudes of the tax rates are affected by habit formation. Using simulations we show that since consumption of the habitual good increases over time, so does the optimal tax rate, implying a higher tax rate in period two than in period one. The discrepancy increases in habitual strength. Given the development of the tax rates over time we discuss the welfare loss from imposing a secondbest environmental tax and its relation to habitual strength. Further, we analyze how optimal taxation changes if we relax the assumption of time-consistency.
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Bibliographic InfoPaper provided by University of Gothenburg, Department of Economics in its series Working Papers in Economics with number 204.
Length: 18 pages
Date of creation: 27 Apr 2006
Date of revision:
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Postal: Department of Economics, School of Business, Economics and Law, University of Gothenburg, Box 640, SE 405 30 GÖTEBORG, Sweden
Phone: 031-773 10 00
Web page: http://www.handels.gu.se/econ/
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Optimal taxation; environment; habit formation; secondbest; myopia;
Find related papers by JEL classification:
- D62 - Microeconomics - - Welfare Economics - - - Externalities
- D91 - Microeconomics - - Intertemporal Choice - - - Intertemporal Household Choice; Life Cycle Models and Saving
- H21 - Public Economics - - Taxation, Subsidies, and Revenue - - - Efficiency; Optimal Taxation
- H23 - Public Economics - - Taxation, Subsidies, and Revenue - - - Externalities; Redistributive Effects; Environmental Taxes and Subsidies
This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:
- NEP-ALL-2006-05-13 (All new papers)
- NEP-ENV-2006-05-13 (Environmental Economics)
- NEP-PBE-2006-05-13 (Public Economics)
- NEP-PUB-2006-05-13 (Public Finance)
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