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Rebating Environmental Policy Revenues: Output-Based Allocations and Tradable Performance Standards

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  • Fischer, Carolyn

    ()
    (Resources for the Future)

Abstract

Political pressure often exists to earmark environmental tax revenues or permit rents to the industry affected by the regulation. This paper analyzes schemes that rebate revenues based on output shares: tradable performance standards, an emissions tax with market-share rebates, and tradable permits with output-based allocation. All three policies effectively combine a tax on emissions with a subsidy to output. The result is a shifting of emissions control efforts toward greater emissions rate reduction and less output contraction, with higher marginal costs of control and lower output prices compared to the social optimum, given any targeted level of abatement. These welfare costs depend on the degree of output substitutability and are likely to be much larger in the long run. While some political and market-failure justifications may exist, policy makers should carefully consider industry characteristics before engaging in output-based rebating.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Resources For the Future in its series Discussion Papers with number dp-01-22.

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Date of creation: 01 Jul 2001
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Handle: RePEc:rff:dpaper:dp-01-22

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Keywords: emission tax; permit allocation; earmarking; tradable performance standards;

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  1. 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.
  2. Bovenberg, A. L. & van der Ploeg, F., 1994. "Environmental policy, public finance and the labour market in a second-best world," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 55(3), pages 349-390, November.
  3. Bovenberg, A Lans & Goulder, Lawrence H, 1996. "Optimal Environmental Taxation in the Presence of Other Taxes: General-Equilibrium Analyses," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 86(4), pages 985-1000, September.
  4. Parry, Ian & Pizer, William & Fischer, Carolyn, 1998. "Instrument Choice for Environmental Protection When Technological Innovation is Endogenous," Discussion Papers dp-99-04, Resources For the Future.
  5. 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.
  6. Lawrence H. Goulder & Ian W. H. Parry & Dallas Burtraw, 1996. "Revenue-Raising vs. Other Approaches to Environmental Protection: The Critical Significance of Pre-Existing Tax Distortions," NBER Working Papers 5641, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  7. Parry, Ian W. H., 1997. "Environmental taxes and quotas in the presence of distorting taxes in factor markets," Resource and Energy Economics, Elsevier, vol. 19(3), pages 203-220, August.
  8. Jensen, Jesper & Rasmussen, Tobias N., 2000. "Allocation of CO2 Emissions Permits: A General Equilibrium Analysis of Policy Instruments," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 40(2), pages 111-136, September.
  9. Goulder Lawrence H., 1995. "Effects of Carbon Taxes in an Economy with Prior Tax Distortions: An Intertemporal General Equilibrium Analysis," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 29(3), pages 271-297, November.
  10. Sterner, Thomas & Hoglund, Lena, 2000. "Output-Based Refunding of Emission Payments: Theory, Distribution of Costs, and International Experience," Discussion Papers dp-00-29, Resources For the Future.
  11. A. Lans Bovenberg & Lawrence H. Goulder, 1995. "Costs of Environmentally Motivated Taxes in the Presence of Other Taxes:General Equilibrium Analyses," NBER Working Papers 5117, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  12. Parry Ian W. H., 1995. "Pollution Taxes and Revenue Recycling," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 29(3), pages S64-S77, November.
  13. Fischer, Carolyn & Bernard, Alain & Vielle, Marc, 2001. "Is There a Rationale for Rebating Environmental Levies?," Discussion Papers dp-01-31-, Resources For the Future.
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