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Global Warming Policy: A Public Finance Perspective

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  • James M. Poterba

Abstract

In the last few years, a substantial volume of research has considered the design of taxes to slow greenhouse gas emissions as well as the economic effects of such policies. In this paper, I summarize the insights that have emerged from this work. I begin by explaining that while efficiency considerations create a presumption for using coordinated international policies to alter greenhouse gas emissions, the prospects for such action are bleak. Then I focus on the public finance of carbon taxes at the national level, considering the design of such taxes as well as their incidence across and within nations. Next, I focus on greenhouse gas emission policies that could be enacted in less-developed countries, such as the elimination of fossil fuel subsidies and other policies to slow deforestation. Finally I suggest several promising directions for future study.

Suggested Citation

  • James M. Poterba, 1993. "Global Warming Policy: A Public Finance Perspective," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 7(4), pages 47-63, Fall.
  • Handle: RePEc:aea:jecper:v:7:y:1993:i:4:p:47-63
    Note: DOI: 10.1257/jep.7.4.47
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    File URL: http://www.aeaweb.org/articles.php?doi=10.1257/jep.7.4.47
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Poterba, James M & Rotemberg, Julio J & Summers, Lawrence H, 1986. "A Tax-Based Test for Nominal Rigidities," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 76(4), pages 659-675, September.
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    JEL classification:

    • Q28 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Renewable Resources and Conservation - - - Government Policy

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