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Distributional Impacts in a Comprehensive Climate Policy Package

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  • Gilbert E. Metcalf
  • Aparna Mathur
  • Kevin A. Hassett

Abstract

This paper provides a simple analytic approach for measuring the burden of carbon pricing that does not require sophisticated and numerically intensive economic models but which is not limited to restrictive assumptions of forward shifting of carbon prices. We also show how to adjust for the capital income bias contained in the Consumer Expenditure Survey, a bias towards regressivity in carbon pricing due to underreporting of capital income in higher income deciles in the Survey. Many distributional analyses of carbon pricing focus on the uses-side incidence of carbon pricing. This is the differential burden resulting from heterogeneity in consumption across households. Once one allows for sources-side incidence (i.e. differential impacts of changes in real factor prices), carbon policies look more progressive. Perhaps more important than the findings from any one scenario, our results on the progressivity of the leading cap and trade proposals are robust to the assumptions made on the relative importance of uses and sources side heterogeneity.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Department of Economics, Tufts University in its series Discussion Papers Series, Department of Economics, Tufts University with number 0752.

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Date of creation: 2010
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Handle: RePEc:tuf:tuftec:0752

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  1. 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.
  2. Kevin A. Hassett & Aparna Mathur & Gilbert E. Metcalf, 2009. "The Incidence of a U.S. Carbon Tax: A Lifetime and Regional Analysis," The Energy Journal, International Association for Energy Economics, vol. 0(Number 2), pages 155-178.
  3. Fullerton Don & Heutel Garth, 2011. "Analytical General Equilibrium Effects of Energy Policy on Output and Factor Prices," The B.E. Journal of Economic Analysis & Policy, De Gruyter, vol. 10(2), pages 1-26, January.
  4. Parry, Ian, 2003. "Are Emissions Permits Regressive?," Discussion Papers dp-03-21, Resources For the Future.
  5. Sebastian Rausch & Gilbert E. Metcalf & John M. Reilly & Sergey Paltsev, 2010. "Distributional Implications of Alternative U.S. Greenhouse Gas Control Measures," NBER Working Papers 16053, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  6. Nicholas Bull & Kevin A. Hassett & Gilbert E. Metcalf, 1993. "Who pays broad-based energy taxes? Computing lifetime and regional incidence," Working Paper Series / Economic Activity Section 142, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
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Cited by:
  1. Xaquín Garcia-Muros & Mercedes Burguillo & Mikel Gonzalez-Eguino & Desiderio Romero-Jordán, 2014. "Local air pollution and global climate change taxes: a distributional analysis," Working Papers 2014-01, BC3.
  2. Dissou, Yazid & Siddiqui, Muhammad Shahid, 2014. "Can carbon taxes be progressive?," Energy Economics, Elsevier, vol. 42(C), pages 88-100.
  3. Katri Kosonen, 2012. "Regressivity of environmental taxation: myth or reality?," Taxation Papers 32, Directorate General Taxation and Customs Union, European Commission.
  4. Garth Heutel, 2011. "Online Appendix to "How Should Environmental Policy Respond to Business Cycles? Optimal Policy under Persistent Productivity Shocks"," Technical Appendices 10-62, Review of Economic Dynamics.
  5. Gary D. Libecap, 2013. "Addressing Global Environmental Externalities: Transaction Costs Considerations," NBER Working Papers 19501, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  6. Heutel, Garth, 2011. "How Should Environmental Policy Respond to Business Cycles? Optimal Policy under Persistent Productivity Shocks," Working Papers 11-8, University of North Carolina at Greensboro, Department of Economics.

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