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Taxing pollution: agglomeration and welfare consequences

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  • Berliant, Marcus
  • Peng, Shin-Kun
  • Wang, Ping

Abstract

This paper demonstrates that a pollution tax with a fixed cost component may lead, by itself, to stratification between clean and dirty firms without heterogeneous preferences or increasing returns. We construct a simple model with two locations and two industries (clean and dirty) where pollution is a by-product of dirty good manufacturing. Under proper assumptions, a completely stratified configuration with all dirty firms clustering in one city emerges as the only equilibrium outcome when there is a fixed cost component of the pollution tax. Moreover, a stratified Pareto optimum can never be supported by a competitive spatial equilibrium with a linear pollution tax that encompasses Pigouvian taxation as a special case. To support such a stratified Pareto optimum, however, an effective but unconventional policy prescription is to redistribute the pollution tax revenue from the dirty to the clean city residents.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by University Library of Munich, Germany in its series MPRA Paper with number 40250.

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Date of creation: 24 Jul 2012
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Handle: RePEc:pra:mprapa:40250

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Keywords: pollution tax; agglomeration of polluting producers; endogenous stratification;

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  1. Roland Benabou, 1993. "Heterogeneity, Stratification, and Growth," NBER Working Papers 4311, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. Marc J. Melitz, 2003. "The Impact of Trade on Intra-Industry Reallocations and Aggregate Industry Productivity," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 71(6), pages 1695-1725, November.
  3. Benabou, Roland, 1996. "Equity and Efficiency in Human Capital Investment: The Local Connection," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 63(2), pages 237-64, April.
  4. Marcus Berliant & Shin-Kun Peng & Ping Wang, 2000. "Production Externalities and Urban Configuration," Vanderbilt University Department of Economics Working Papers 0011, Vanderbilt University Department of Economics.
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  8. Thomas J. Nechyba, 1996. "Existence of Equilibrium and Stratification in Local and Hierarchical Tiebout Economies with Property Taxes and Voting," NBER Technical Working Papers 0190, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  9. Benabou, Roland, 1996. "Heterogeneity, Stratification, and Growth: Macroeconomic Implications of Community Structure and School Finance," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 86(3), pages 584-609, June.
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  13. Shin-Kun Peng & Ping Wang, 2005. "Sorting by foot: `travel-for' local public goods and equilibrium stratification," Canadian Journal of Economics, Canadian Economics Association, vol. 38(4), pages 1224-1252, November.
  14. Aidt, Toke S., 1998. "Political internalization of economic externalities and environmental policy," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 69(1), pages 1-16, July.
  15. Karp, Larry, 1998. "Nonpoint Source Pollution Taxes and Excessive Tax Burden," Department of Agricultural & Resource Economics, UC Berkeley, Working Paper Series qt4z62b52k, Department of Agricultural & Resource Economics, UC Berkeley.
  16. Romer, Paul M, 1986. "Increasing Returns and Long-run Growth," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 94(5), pages 1002-37, October.
  17. Buchanan, James M & Tullock, Gordon, 1975. "Polluters' Profits and Political Response: Direct Controls Versus Taxes," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 65(1), pages 139-47, March.
  18. Markusen, James R. & Morey, Edward R. & Olewiler, Nancy, 1995. "Competition in regional environmental policies when plant locations are endogenous," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 56(1), pages 55-77, January.
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  21. Chen, Been-Lon & Peng, Shin-Kun & Wang, Ping, 2009. "Intergenerational human capital evolution, local public good preferences, and stratification," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 33(3), pages 745-757, March.
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Cited by:
  1. Öztürk Murat & Peters Hans & Storcken Ton, 2012. "On the location of public bads: strategy-proofness under two-dimensional single-dipped preferences," Research Memorandum 041, Maastricht University, Maastricht Research School of Economics of Technology and Organization (METEOR).

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