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Green Tax Reform and Competitiveness

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  • Erkki Koskela
  • Ronnie Schob
  • Hans-Werner Sinn

Abstract

This paper develops a model of a small open economy that produces an export good with domestic labour and imported energy and is stuck in an unemployment situation resulting from an excessive fixed net-of-tax wage rate. We study a revenue-neutral green tax reform that substitutes energy for wage taxes. A moderate green tax reform will boost employment, improve welfare, and increase the economy's competitiveness. The driving force behind these results is the technological substitution process that a green tax reform will bring about by inducing the producers to substitute labour for energy as factors of production. The resulting reduction in unemployment is welfare increasing since energy, which the country has to buy at its true national opportunity cost, is replaced with labour, whose price is above its social opportunity cost. As long as the labour tax rate exceeds the resource tax rate, a revenue-neutral green-tax reform will reduce the domestic firms' unit cost of production and hence increase international competitiveness and output of the economy.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 6922.

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Date of creation: Feb 1999
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Publication status: published as Erkki Koskela & Hans-Werner Sinn & Ronnie Schöb, 2001. "Green Tax Reform and Competitiveness," German Economic Review, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 2(1), pages 19-30, 02.
Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:6922

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  1. Erkki Koskela & Ronnie Schöb & Hans-Werner Sinn, 1998. "Pollution, Factor Taxation and Unemployment," International Tax and Public Finance, Springer, vol. 5(3), pages 379-396, July.
  2. Bovenberg, A Lans & de Mooij, Ruud A, 1997. "Environmental Levies and Distortionary Taxation: Reply," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 87(1), pages 252-53, March.
  3. Bovenberg, A.L. & Mooij, R.A. de, 1994. "Environmental levies and distortionary taxation," Open Access publications from Tilburg University urn:nbn:nl:ui:12-152985, Tilburg University.
  4. Koskela, Erkki & Schob, Ronnie, 1999. "Alleviating unemployment:: The case for green tax reforms," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 43(9), pages 1723-1746, October.
  5. Bucovetsky, Sam & Wilson, John Douglas, 1991. "Tax competition with two tax instruments," Regional Science and Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 21(3), pages 333-350, November.
  6. Wolfram F. Richter & Kerstin Schneider, 2001. "Taxing Mobile Capital with Labor Market Imperfections," CESifo Working Paper Series 477, CESifo Group Munich.
  7. Perotti, Roberto & Alesina, Alberto, 1997. "The Welfare State and Competitiveness," Scholarly Articles 4553027, Harvard University Department of Economics.
  8. Alberto Alesina & Roberto Perotti, 1994. "The Welfare State and Competitiveness," NBER Working Papers 4810, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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Cited by:
  1. Christoph Böhringer & Andreas Löschel & Heinz Welsch, 2008. "Environmental Taxation and Induced Structural Change in an Open Economy: The Role of Market Structure," German Economic Review, Verein für Socialpolitik, vol. 9, pages 17-40, 02.
  2. Albert, Max & Meckl, Jürgen, 1999. "Green tax reform and two-component unemployment: Double dividend or double loss?," Discussion Papers, Series 1 297, University of Konstanz, Department of Economics.
  3. O'Ryan, Raúl & de Miguel, Carlos J. & Miller, Sebastian & Munasinghe, Mohan, 2005. "Computable general equilibrium model analysis of economywide cross effects of social and environmental policies in Chile," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 54(4), pages 447-472, September.
  4. Boeters, Stefan, 2001. "Green tax reform and employment: the interaction of profit and factor taxes," ZEW Discussion Papers 01-45, ZEW - Zentrum für Europäische Wirtschaftsforschung / Center for European Economic Research.
  5. Reto Schleiniger & Stefan Felder, . "Fossile Energiepolitik jenseits von Kyoto," IEW - Working Papers 078, Institute for Empirical Research in Economics - University of Zurich.
  6. Thomas Aronsson, 2005. "Environmental Policy, Efficient Taxation and Unemployment," International Tax and Public Finance, Springer, vol. 12(2), pages 131-144, March.

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