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Environmental Tax Reform: Efficiency and Political Feasibility

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  • Stefan Felder
  • Reto Schleiniger
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    Abstract

    Command-and-control measures, despite their inefficiencies, are still the standard in environmental policy. This might be due to the fact that command-and-control instruments prevent monetary redistribution between sectors and households and leave property rights on remaining pollution with the emittents. The present paper interprets the no-redistribution policy as a political constraint and investigates on more efficient alternatives to command-and- control, using a computable general equilibrium model for Switzerland. Simulation results render schemes that refund environmental tax revenues by a sector-by-sector-subsidy on labor or output as welfare enhancing.

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    Paper provided by Institute for Empirical Research in Economics - University of Zurich in its series IEW - Working Papers with number 013.

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    Handle: RePEc:zur:iewwpx:013

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    Keywords: Environmental tax reform; price-standard-approach; public choice; computable general equilibrium model;

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    1. 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.
    2. Main, Robert S & Baird, Charles W, 1976. "Polluters' Profits and Political Response: Direct Control versus Taxes: Comment," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 66(5), pages 979-80, December.
    3. Yohe, Gary W, 1976. "Polluters' Profits and Political Response: Direct Control versus Taxes: Comment," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 66(5), pages 981-82, December.
    4. Charles L. Ballard & Don Fullerton & John B. Shoven & John Whalley, 1985. "A General Equilibrium Model for Tax Policy Evaluation," NBER Books, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc, number ball85-1.
    5. 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.
    6. Buchanan, James M & Tullock, Gordon, 1975. "Polluters' Profits and Political Response: Direct Controls Versus Taxes," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 65(1), pages 139-47, March.
    7. Cansier, Dieter & Krumm, Raimund, 1997. "Air pollutant taxation: an empirical survey," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 23(1), pages 59-70, October.
    8. Coelho, Philip R P, 1976. "Polluters' Profits and Political Response: Direct Control versus Taxes: Comment," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 66(5), pages 976-78, December.
    9. Hahn, Robert W, 1990. " The Political Economy of Environmental Regulation: Towards a Unifying Framework," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 65(1), pages 21-47, April.
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