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The Effects of Pollution and Energy Taxes across the European Income Distribution


Author Info

  • Elizabeth.J.Symons

    (Economics Department, Keele University, UK)

  • Stefan Speck

    (Regional Environmental Center for Central and Eastern Europe, Budapest, Hungary)

  • J.L.R.Proops

    (School of Politics, International Relations and the Environment, Keele University, UK)


This paper examines the likely immediate impact effect of some pollution taxes on the tax burden of households in a number of European countries. The total effect on households of such taxes is assessed using input-output analysis. Thus both the direct effect of taxes, through increased fuel prices, and the indirect effect, through increased prices of other goods, can be assessed simultaneously. This input-output approach allows the generation of direct plus indirect pollution intensities for all household consumption categories, for, in principle, a number of pollutants (CO2, SO2, NOx, particulates). These intensities could then be used to assess the impact on households of pollution taxes. This paper concentrates on CO2 and energy, performing a static analysis of the effect of a tax on the carbon or energy content of goods using the known consumption patterns for the various countries, both in aggregate and for different income groups. This allows a first assessment of the regressive/progressive effects of such taxes and an indication of consumer welfare loss.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Department of Economics, Keele University in its series Keele Department of Economics Discussion Papers (1995-2001) with number 2000/05.

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Length: 14 pages
Date of creation: 2000
Date of revision:
Publication status: Published in European Environment, July/August 2002, Vol. 12, issue 4, pages 203-12. [ doi:10.1002/eet.293 ]
Handle: RePEc:kee:keeldp:2000/05

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Postal: Department of Economics, University of Keele, Keele, Staffordshire, ST5 5BG - United Kingdom
Phone: +44 (0)1782 584581
Fax: +44 (0)1782 717577
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Postal: Department of Economics, Keele University, Keele, Staffordshire ST5 5BG - United Kingdom

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Cited by:
  1. James B. Davies & Xiaojun Shi & John Whalley, 2012. "The Possibilities for Global Inequality and Poverty Reduction Using Revenues from Global Carbon Pricing," University of Western Ontario, Economic Policy Research Institute Working Papers 20127, University of Western Ontario, Economic Policy Research Institute.
  2. Arief Anshory Yusuf & Budy P. Resosudarmo, 2007. "On the Distributional Effect of Carbon Tax in Developing Countries: The Case of Indonesia," Working Papers in Economics and Development Studies (WoPEDS) 200705, Department of Economics, Padjadjaran University, revised Aug 2007.


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