Is There a Principle of Targeting in Environmental Taxation?
AbstractWe test whether the principle of targeting (alternatively Sandmo’s (1975) additivity property and Kopczuk’s (2003) decomposition involving the Pigovian rule) has relevance for environmental taxation in a second best world consisting of an exogenous revenue requirement and pre-existing distortionary taxes. In the context of differentiated commodity taxes, we find that Sandmo’s additivity property breaks down once one solves explicitly for the marginal cost of public funds (MCPF). Further, in the more realistic setting of a uniform commodity tax and a dedicated emissions tax, we find that the additivity property no longer holds even in the form Sandmo studied it, i.e. without solving explicitly for the MCPF. Finally, we argue that Koczuk’s decomposition is not persuasive, as it requires that a second government agency must apply a corrective tax or subsidy to adjust the choice of the Pigovian rule by the environmental agency. In a same-numbers exercise (i.e. the number of tax instruments is not increased), we show that there is no presumption in favour of a direct emissions tax over a uniform commodity tax; rather, the choice depends upon the size of the environmental damages. We conclude that there does not exist a principle of targeting in environmental taxation.
Download InfoIf you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.
Bibliographic InfoPaper provided by University of Ottawa, Department of Economics in its series Working Papers with number 1102E.
Length: 26 pages
Date of creation: 2011
Date of revision:
Contact details of provider:
Postal: PO Box 450, Station A, Ottawa, Ontario, K1N 6N5
Phone: (613) 562-5753
Fax: (613) 562-5999
Web page: http://www.socialsciences.uottawa.ca/eco/eng/index.asp
More information through EDIRC
environmental taxation; second best; principle of targeting;
Find related papers by JEL classification:
- 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-2011-04-09 (All new papers)
- NEP-ENE-2011-04-09 (Energy Economics)
- NEP-ENV-2011-04-09 (Environmental Economics)
- NEP-PBE-2011-04-09 (Public Economics)
- NEP-REG-2011-04-09 (Regulation)
You can help add them by filling out this form.
For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Diane Ritchot).
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.