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Optimal Emission Pricing in the Presence of International Spillovers: Decomposing Leakage and Terms-of-Trade Motives

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  • Christoph Böhringer

    ()
    (University of Oldenburg, Department of Economics)

  • Andreas Lange

    (University of Hamburg, Department of Economics, Germany)

  • Thomas F. Rutherford

    (ETH Zürich, CEPE, Switzerland)

Abstract

Carbon leakage provides an efficiency argument for unilateral climate policy to differentiate emission prices in favor of emission-intensive and trade-exposed sectors. At the same time, differential emission pricing can be (mis-)used as a beggar-thy-neighbor policy to exploit terms of trade. Using an optimal tax framework, we propose a method to decompose the leakage motive and the terms-of-trade motive for emission price differentiation. We employ our method for a quantitative impact assessment of unilateral climate policy based on empirical data. We find that the leakage motive yields only small efficiency gains compared to uniform emission pricing. Likewise, the terms-of-trade motive has rather limited potential for strategic burden shifting. We conclude that the simple first-best rule of uniform emission pricing remains a practical guideline for unilateral climate policy design.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by University of Oldenburg, Department of Economics in its series Working Papers with number V-347-12.

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Length: 34 pages
Date of creation: Jun 2012
Date of revision: Jun 2012
Publication status: Published in Oldenburg Working Papers V-347-12
Handle: RePEc:old:dpaper:347

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Keywords: optimal taxation; emission leakage; terms of trade;

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References

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  1. Graham, Paul & Thorpe, Sally & Hogan, Lindsay, 1999. "Non-competitive market behaviour in the international coking coal market," Energy Economics, Elsevier, vol. 21(3), pages 195-212, June.
  2. Christoph Böhringer & Thomas F. Rutherford, 2010. "The Costs of Compliance: A CGE Assessment of Canada's Policy Options under the Kyoto Protocol," The World Economy, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 33(2), pages 177-211, 02.
  3. Krichene, Noureddine, 2002. "World crude oil and natural gas: a demand and supply model," Energy Economics, Elsevier, vol. 24(6), pages 557-576, November.
  4. Böhringer, Christoph & Rutherford, Thomas F. & Tol, Richard S. J., 2009. "The EU 20/20/2020 Targets: An Overview of the EMF22 Assessment," Papers WP325, Economic and Social Research Institute (ESRI).
  5. Hoel, Michael, 1996. "Should a carbon tax be differentiated across sectors?," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 59(1), pages 17-32, January.
  6. Hoel, Michael, 1991. "Global environmental problems: The effects of unilateral actions taken by one country," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 20(1), pages 55-70, January.
  7. Christoph Böhringer & Thomas Rutherford, 2002. "Carbon Abatement and International Spillovers," Environmental & Resource Economics, European Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, vol. 22(3), pages 391-417, July.
  8. Böhringer, Christoph & Balistreri, Edward J. & Rutherford, Thomas F., 2012. "The role of border carbon adjustment in unilateral climate policy: Overview of an Energy Modeling Forum study (EMF 29)," Energy Economics, Elsevier, vol. 34(S2), pages S97-S110.
  9. Azusa OKAGAWA & Kanemi BAN, 2008. "Estimation of substitution elasticities for CGE models," Discussion Papers in Economics and Business 08-16, Osaka University, Graduate School of Economics and Osaka School of International Public Policy (OSIPP).
  10. Markusen, James R., 1975. "International externalities and optimal tax structures," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 5(1), pages 15-29, February.
  11. Krutilla, Kerry, 1991. "Environmental regulation in an open economy," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 20(2), pages 127-142, March.
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Cited by:
  1. Schinko, Thomas & Bednar-Friedl, Birgit & Steininger, Karl W. & Grossmann, Wolf D., 2014. "Switching to carbon-free production processes: Implications for carbon leakage and border carbon adjustment," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 67(C), pages 818-831.
  2. Weitzel, Matthias & Hübler, Michael & Peterson, Sonja, 2012. "Fair, optimal or detrimental? Environmental vs. strategic use of border carbon adjustment," Energy Economics, Elsevier, vol. 34(S2), pages S198-S207.
  3. Jeffrey Grogger & Gordon H. Hanson, 2013. "Attracting Talent: Location Choices of Foreign-Born PhDs in the US," NBER Working Papers 18780, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  4. Stefan Schleicher & Karl Steininger & Andreas Türk, 2010. "Außenhandel und Umwelt: Was bringt Cancún?," FIW Policy Brief series 009, FIW.
  5. Kazuharu Kiyono & Jota Ishikawa, 2011. "Environmental Management Policy under International Carbon Leakage," Global COE Hi-Stat Discussion Paper Series gd11-204, Institute of Economic Research, Hitotsubashi University.
  6. Habermacher, Florian, 2011. "Optimal Fuel-Specific Carbon Pricing and Time Dimension of Leakage," Economics Working Paper Series 1144, University of St. Gallen, School of Economics and Political Science, revised Jan 2012.
  7. Boeters, Stefan, 2013. "Optimally Differentiated Carbon Prices for Unilateral Climate Policy," Annual Conference 2013 (Duesseldorf): Competition Policy and Regulation in a Global Economic Order 79738, Verein für Socialpolitik / German Economic Association.
  8. Valentina Bosetti & Enrica De Cian, 2011. "A Good Opening: The Key to Make the Most of Unilateral Climate Action," Working Papers 2011.81, Fondazione Eni Enrico Mattei.
  9. Lanz, Bruno & Rausch, Sebastian, 2011. "General equilibrium, electricity generation technologies and the cost of carbon abatement: A structural sensitivity analysis," Energy Economics, Elsevier, vol. 33(5), pages 1035-1047, September.
  10. 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.

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