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Climate Policy's Uncertain Outcomes for Households: The Role of Complex Allocation Schemes in Cap-and-Trade

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  • Blonz Joshua

    () (Resources for the Future)

  • Burtraw Dallas

    () (Resources for the Future)

  • Walls Margaret A

    () (Resources for the Future)

Abstract

The design and implementation of the allocation of CO2 emissions allowances in recent bills in the U.S. Congress introduces a new source of uncertainty to the climate policy debate. We examine the Waxman-Markey bill (H.R. 2454) with scenarios that vary outcomes associated with allocations to electricity local distribution companies, investments in energy efficiency and technology development. The average net household burden in 2016 ranges from $133, with a CO2 allowance price of $13.19, to $418, with an allowance price of $23.41. The uncertainty about average burdens does not carry over to the distribution of those burdens; both scenarios impose the greatest burden as a percentage of income on middle-income households. A third scenario that allocates a substantial portion of allowance value as lump-sum payments imposes an average net household burden of $206, with a price of $17.37 and with highly progressive distributional impacts.

Suggested Citation

  • Blonz Joshua & Burtraw Dallas & Walls Margaret A, 2010. "Climate Policy's Uncertain Outcomes for Households: The Role of Complex Allocation Schemes in Cap-and-Trade," The B.E. Journal of Economic Analysis & Policy, De Gruyter, vol. 10(2), pages 1-35, November.
  • Handle: RePEc:bpj:bejeap:v:10:y:2010:i:2:n:5
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Epanchin-Niell, Rebecca S. & Wilen, James E., 2010. "Optimal control of spatial-dynamic processes: The case of biological invasions," 2010 Annual Meeting, July 25-27, 2010, Denver, Colorado 61375, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association.
    2. van Ruijven, Bas J. & O’Neill, Brian C. & Chateau, Jean, 2015. "Methods for including income distribution in global CGE models for long-term climate change research," Energy Economics, Elsevier, vol. 51(C), pages 530-543.
    3. Joshua Blonz & Dallas Burtraw & Margaret Walls, 2012. "Social safety nets and US climate policy costs," Climate Policy, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 12(4), pages 474-490, July.
    4. Levinson Arik M, 2010. "Comment on "Climate Policy's Uncertain Outcomes for Households: The Role of Complex Allocation Schemes in Cap-and-Trade"," The B.E. Journal of Economic Analysis & Policy, De Gruyter, vol. 10(2), pages 1-4, November.
    5. William A. Pizer & Steven Sexton, 2017. "Distributional Impacts of Energy Taxes," NBER Working Papers 23318, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • H22 - Public Economics - - Taxation, Subsidies, and Revenue - - - Incidence
    • H23 - Public Economics - - Taxation, Subsidies, and Revenue - - - Externalities; Redistributive Effects; Environmental Taxes and Subsidies
    • Q52 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Environmental Economics - - - Pollution Control Adoption and Costs; Distributional Effects; Employment Effects
    • Q54 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Environmental Economics - - - Climate; Natural Disasters and their Management; Global Warming

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