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The Incidence of U.S. Climate Policy: Alternative Uses of Revenues from a Cap-and-Trade Auction

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Author Info

  • Burtraw, Dallas

    ()
    (Resources for the Future)

  • Sweeney, Richard

    ()
    (Resources for the Future)

  • Walls, Margaret

    ()
    (Resources for the Future)

Abstract

This paper evaluates the costs to households of a carbon dioxide (CO2) cap-and-trade program. We find important variation in the distribution of costs of the policy across 11 regions of the country and income deciles. The introduction of a price on CO2 is regressive, but this may be outweighed by the distribution value of CO2 emissions allowances. We evaluate five alternatives: three are progressive (expansion of the Earned Income Tax Credit and cap-and-dividend approaches), while the others are neutral (reduction in payroll tax) or amplify the regressivity (reduction in income tax). Regional differences are most substantial for low-income households.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Resources For the Future in its series Discussion Papers with number dp-09-17-rev.

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Date of creation: 09 Apr 2009
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Handle: RePEc:rff:dpaper:dp-09-17-rev

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Related research

Keywords: cap-and-trade; allocation; distributional effects; cost burden; equity;

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References

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  1. Shammin, Md Rumi & Bullard, Clark W., 2009. "Impact of cap-and-trade policies for reducing greenhouse gas emissions on U.S. households," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 68(8-9), pages 2432-2438, June.
  2. Parry, Ian, 2003. "Are Emissions Permits Regressive?," Discussion Papers dp-03-21, Resources For the Future.
  3. Gilbert E. Metcalf & Sergey Paltsev & John Reilly & Henry Jacoby & Jennifer F. Holak, 2008. "Analysis of U.S. Greenhouse Gas Tax Proposals," NBER Working Papers 13980, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  4. Dallas Burtraw & Karen Palmer, 2008. "Compensation rules for climate policy in the electricity sector," Journal of Policy Analysis and Management, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 27(4), pages 819-847.
  5. Paul, Anthony & Burtraw, Dallas & Palmer, Karen, 2008. "Compensation for Electricity Consumers Under a U.S. CO2 Emissions Cap," Discussion Papers dp-08-25, Resources For the Future.
  6. Ian W.H. Parry & Hilary Sigman & Margaret Walls & Roberton C. Williams III, 2005. "The Incidence of Pollution Control Policies," NBER Working Papers 11438, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  7. 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.
  8. Parry, Ian & Goulder, Lawrence & Williams III, Roberton, 1997. "When Can Carbon Abatement Policies Increase Welfare? The Fundamental Role of Distorted Factor Markets," Discussion Papers dp-97-18-rev, Resources For the Future.
  9. A. Lans Bovenberg & Lawrence H. Goulder, 1994. "Optimal Environmental Taxation in the Presence of Other Taxes: General Equilibrium Analyses," NBER Working Papers 4897, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  10. Gilbert E. Metcalf, 2008. "Designing A Carbon Tax to Reduce U.S. Greenhouse Gas Emissions," NBER Working Papers 14375, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  11. S. Paltsev & J. Reilly & H. Jacoby & A. Gurgel & G. Metcalf & A. Sokolov & J. Holak, 2007. "Assessment of U.S. Cap-and-Trade Proposals," Working Papers 0705, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Center for Energy and Environmental Policy Research.
  12. Nicholas Bull & Kevin A. Hassett & Gilbert E. Metcalf, 1994. "Who Pays Broad-Based Energy Taxes? Computing Lifetime and Regional Incidence," The Energy Journal, International Association for Energy Economics, vol. 0(Number 3), pages 145-164.
  13. Metcalf, Gilbert E., 1999. "A Distributional Analysis of Green Tax Reforms," National Tax Journal, National Tax Association, vol. 52(n. 4), pages 655-82, December.
  14. Lawrence H. Goulder & Ian W. H. Parry & Roberton C. Williams III & Dallas Burtraw, 1998. "The Cost-Effectiveness of Alternative Instruments for Environmental Protection in a Second-Best Setting," NBER Working Papers 6464, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  15. Andrew B. Lyon & Robert M. Schwab, 1991. "Consumption Taxes in a Life-Cycle Framework: Are Sin Taxes Regressive?," NBER Working Papers 3932, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  16. Suits, Daniel B, 1977. "Measurement of Tax Progressivity," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 67(4), pages 747-52, September.
  17. Matthew Riddle & James Boyce, 2007. "Cap and Dividend: How to Curb Global Warming while Protecting the Incomes of American Families," Working Papers wp150, Political Economy Research Institute, University of Massachusetts at Amherst.
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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. Trevor Houser, 2009. "The Economics of Energy Efficiency in Buildings," Policy Briefs PB09-17, Peterson Institute for International Economics.
  2. Last Name, First Name, 2009. "Distributional Impacts of Carbon Pricing Policies in the Electricity Sector," Discussion Papers dp-09-43, Resources For the Future.
  3. Parry, Ian W.H. & Williams, Roberton C. III, 2010. "What Are the Costs of Meeting Distributional Objectives in Designing Domestic Climate Policy?," Discussion Papers dp-10-51, Resources For the Future.
  4. Blonz, Joshua & Burtraw, Dallas & Walls, Margaret A., 2010. "Climate Policy’s Uncertain Outcomes for Households: The Role of Complex Allocation Schemes in Cap and Trade," Discussion Papers dp-10-12, Resources For the Future.
  5. Gonzalez, Fidel, 2012. "Distributional effects of carbon taxes: The case of Mexico," Energy Economics, Elsevier, vol. 34(6), pages 2102-2115.
  6. Epanchin-Niell, Rebecca S. & Wilen, James E., 2010. "Optimal control of spatial-dynamic processes: The case of biological invasions," 2010 Annual Meeting, July 25-27, 2010, Denver, Colorado 61375, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association.
  7. Ian W.H. Parry & Roberton C. Williams III, 2010. "What Are the Costs of Meeting Distributional Objectives for Climate Policy?," NBER Working Papers 16486, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  8. Burtraw, Dallas & Fraas, Arthur G. & Richardson, Nathan, 2011. "Greenhouse Gas Regulation under the Clean Air Act: A Guide for Economists," Discussion Papers dp-11-08, Resources For the Future.
  9. Burtraw, Dallas & Sekar, Samantha, 2013. "Two World Views on Carbon Revenues," Discussion Papers dp-13-32, Resources For the Future.
  10. Martin Beznoska & Johanna Cludius & Viktor Steiner, 2012. "The Incidence of the European Union Emissions Trading System and the Role of Revenue Recycling: Empirical Evidence from Combined Industry- and Household-Level Data," Discussion Papers of DIW Berlin 1227, DIW Berlin, German Institute for Economic Research.
  11. Cludius, Johanna & Beznoska, Martin & Steiner, Viktor, 2012. "Distributional effects of the European Emissions Trading System and the role of revenue recycling: Empirical evidence from combined industry- and household-level data," Discussion Papers 2012/6, Free University Berlin, School of Business & Economics.
  12. Dallas Burtraw & Samantha Sekar, 2014. "Two world views on carbon revenues," Journal of Environmental Studies and Sciences, Springer, vol. 4(1), pages 110-120, March.
  13. Don Fullerton & Garth Heutel & Gilbert Metcalf, 2011. "Does the Indexing of Government Transfers Make Carbon Pricing Progressive?," CESifo Working Paper Series 3315, CESifo Group Munich.
  14. Kalkuhl, Matthias & Edenhofer, Ottmar & Lessmann, Kai, 2013. "Renewable energy subsidies: Second-best policy or fatal aberration for mitigation?," Resource and Energy Economics, Elsevier, vol. 35(3), pages 217-234.
  15. Dallas Burtraw & Art Fraas & Nathan Richardson, 2011. "Policy Monitor--Greenhouse Gas Regulation under the Clean Air Act: A Guide for Economists," Review of Environmental Economics and Policy, Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, vol. 5(2), pages 293-313, Summer.
  16. Fullerton, Don & Monti, Holly, 2013. "Can pollution tax rebates protect low-wage earners?," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 66(3), pages 539-553.
  17. Dissou, Yazid & Siddiqui, Muhammad Shahid, 2014. "Can carbon taxes be progressive?," Energy Economics, Elsevier, vol. 42(C), pages 88-100.

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