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Carbon Taxes and Innovation without Commitment

Listed author(s):
  • Golombek Rolf

    ()

    (Frisch Centre)

  • Greaker Mads

    ()

    (Statistics Norway)

  • Hoel Michael

    ()

    (University of Oslo)

Climate mitigation policy should be imposed over a long period, and spur innovation of new technologies in order to make stabilization of green house gas concentration economically feasible. The government may announce current and future policy packages that stimulate current R&D in climate-friendly technologies. However, once climate-friendly technologies have been developed, the government may have no incentive to implement the pre-announced future policies, that is, there may be a time inconsistency problem. We show that if the government can optimally subsidize R&D today, there is no time inconsistency problem. Thus, lack of commitment is not an argument for higher current R&D subsidies than the first-best subsidy. If the offered R&D subsidy is lower than the optimal subsidy, the current (sub-game perfect) carbon tax rate exceeds the first-best carbon tax rate.

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Article provided by De Gruyter in its journal The B.E. Journal of Economic Analysis & Policy.

Volume (Year): 10 (2010)
Issue (Month): 1 (April)
Pages: 1-21

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Handle: RePEc:bpj:bejeap:v:10:y:2010:i:1:n:32
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  1. Goulder, Lawrence H. & Mathai, Koshy, 2000. "Optimal CO2 Abatement in the Presence of Induced Technological Change," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 39(1), pages 1-38, January.
  2. Jean Tirole, 1988. "The Theory of Industrial Organization," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 0262200716, July.
  3. Buchanan, James M, 1969. "External Diseconomies, Corrective Taxes, and Market Structure," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 59(1), pages 174-177, March.
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