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Environmental Taxation and Induced Structural Change in an Open Economy: The Role of Market Structure

  • Christoph Böhringer
  • Andreas Löschel
  • Heinz Welsch

Studies of structural change induced by environmental taxation usually proceed in a perfect-competition framework and typically find structural change to be quite moderate under realistic emission reduction scenarios. By observing that some of the industries affected are likely to operate under imperfect rather than perfect competition, additional mechanisms emerge which may amplify structural change beyond the extent identified as yet. Especially, changes in economies of scale may arise which weaken or strengthen the competitive position of industries over and above the initial cost effect. Using a computable general equilibrium model for Germany to examine the effects of a unilaterally introduced carbon tax, we find that induced structural change is more pronounced under imperfect competition than under perfect competition. At the macroeconomic level, we find that aggregate losses in economies of scale are larger than aggregate gains, implying that the total costs of environmental regulation are higher under imperfect competition than under perfect competition. Copyright Verein für Socialpolitik and Blackwell Publishing Ltd. 2008.

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Article provided by Verein für Socialpolitik in its journal German Economic Review.

Volume (Year): 9 (2008)
Issue (Month): (02)
Pages: 17-40

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Handle: RePEc:bla:germec:v:9:y:2008:i::p:17-40
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  1. David G. Blanchflower & Andrew J. Oswald, 1989. "The Wage Curve," NBER Working Papers 3181, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    • Blanchflower, D. & Oswald, A., 1989. "The Wage Curve," Papers 340, London School of Economics - Centre for Labour Economics.
  2. Bohringer, Christoph & Rutherford, Thomas F., 1997. "Carbon Taxes with Exemptions in an Open Economy: A General Equilibrium Analysis of the German Tax Initiative," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 32(2), pages 189-203, February.
  3. Bach, Stefan & Kohlhaas, Michael & Meyer, Bernd & Praetorius, Barbara & Welsch, Heinz, 2002. "The effects of environmental fiscal reform in Germany: a simulation study," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 30(9), pages 803-811, July.
  4. Koskela, Erkki & Schöb, Ronnie & Sinn, Hans-Werner, 2001. "Green tax reform and competitiveness," Munich Reprints in Economics 19492, University of Munich, Department of Economics.
  5. John Hutton & Anna Ruocco, 1999. "Tax Reform and Employment in Europe," International Tax and Public Finance, Springer, vol. 6(3), pages 263-287, August.
  6. Jean-Marc Burniaux & John P. Martin & Giuseppe Nicoletti & Joaquim Oliveira Martins, 1992. "GREEN a Multi-Sector, Multi-Region General Equilibrium Model for Quantifying the Costs of Curbing CO2 Emissions: A Technical Manual," OECD Economics Department Working Papers 116, OECD Publishing.
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