Keeping the Government Whole: The Impact of a Cap-and-Dividend Policy for Curbing Global Warming on Government Revenue and Expenditure
AbstractWhen the United States puts a cap on carbon emissions as part of the effort to address the problem of global climate change, this will increase the prices of fossil fuels, significantly impacting not only consumers but also local, state, and federal governments. Consumers can be “made whole,” in the sense that whatever amount the public pays in higher fuel prices is recycled to the public, by means of a cap-and dividend policy: individual households will come out ahead or behind in monetary terms depending on whether they consume above-average or below-average amounts of carbon. In this paper, we consider policy options for “keeping the government whole,” too; that is, policies to ensure that additional revenues to government compensate adequately for the additional costs to government as a result of the carbon cap. We compare the distributional impacts of two policy alternatives: (i) setting aside a portion of the revenue from carbon permit auctions for government, and distributing the remainder of the revenue to the public in the form of tax-free dividends; or (ii) distributing all of the carbon revenue to households as taxable dividends. The policy of recycling 100% of carbon revenue to the public as taxable dividends has the strongest progressive impact, yielding the biggest net monetary benefits for the largest majority of the people.
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Bibliographic InfoPaper provided by Political Economy Research Institute, University of Massachusetts at Amherst in its series Working Papers with number wp188.
Date of creation: 2008
Date of revision:
Global warming; fossil fuels; climate change; carbon permits; cap-and-dividend;
Find related papers by JEL classification:
- H22 - Public Economics - - Taxation, Subsidies, and Revenue - - - Incidence
- H23 - Public Economics - - Taxation, Subsidies, and Revenue - - - Externalities; Redistributive Effects; Environmental Taxes and Subsidies
- Q48 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Energy - - - Government Policy
- Q52 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Environmental Economics - - - Pollution Control Costs; Distributional Effects; Employment Effects
- Q54 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Environmental Economics - - - Climate; Natural Disasters
- Q5 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Environmental Economics
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