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Pigouvian Taxation in a Ramsey World

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Author Info

  • Robin Boadway

    ()
    (Queen's University)

  • Jean-Francois Trembley

    (University of Ottawa)

Abstract

This paper studies the optimal Pigouvian tax for correcting pollution when the government also uses distortionary taxes to raise revenues. When preferences are quasilinear in leisure and additive, the Pigovian tax can be separated from the Ramsey revenue-raising tax. We characterize the relationship between the Pigouvian tax and marginal social damages in a variety of circumstances. In a setting with homogeneous households, the Pigouvian tax exceeds marginal damages if goods have inelastic demands, and vice versa. When households are heterogeneous so taxes can be redistributive, the Pigouvian tax gives more weight to damages suffered by low-income persons. The analysis is extended to allow for costly abatement. In general corrective taxes have to be applied to both emissions and output of the polluting good.

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File URL: http://qed.econ.queensu.ca/working_papers/papers/qed_wp_1167.pdf
File Function: First version 2008
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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Queen's University, Department of Economics in its series Working Papers with number 1167.

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Length: 39 pages
Date of creation: Jun 2008
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:qed:wpaper:1167

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Keywords: Pigouvian tax; optimal taxes; pollution tax;

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  1. Cremer, Helmuth & Gahvari, Firouz & Ladoux, Norbert, 1998. "Externalities and optimal taxation," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 70(3), pages 343-364, December.
  2. Nava, Mario & Schroyen, Fred & Marchand, Maurice, 1996. "Optimal fiscal and public expenditure policy in a two-class economy," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 61(1), pages 119-137, July.
  3. de Bovenberg, A Lans & Mooij, Ruud A, 1994. "Environmental Levies and Distortionary Taxation," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 84(4), pages 1085-89, September.
  4. Cremer, Helmuth & Gahvari, Firouz, 2001. "Second-best taxation of emissions and polluting goods," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 80(2), pages 169-197, May.
  5. Helmuth Cremer & Firouz Gahvari & Norbert Ladoux, 2001. "Second-Best Pollution Taxes and the Structure of Preferences," Southern Economic Journal, Southern Economic Association, vol. 68(2), pages 258-280, October.
  6. Auerbach, Alan J. & Hines, James Jr., 2002. "Taxation and economic efficiency," Handbook of Public Economics, in: A. J. Auerbach & M. Feldstein (ed.), Handbook of Public Economics, edition 1, volume 3, chapter 21, pages 1347-1421 Elsevier.
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Cited by:
  1. William Jaeger, 2011. "The Welfare Effects of Environmental Taxation," Environmental & Resource Economics, European Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, vol. 49(1), pages 101-119, May.

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